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Teaching kids about the environment is as urgent as it is important. Lessons about conservation and the three Rs of being eco-friendly must start at home, says this post.
Teaching kids about the environment is as urgent as it is important. Lessons about conservation and the three Rs of being eco-friendly must start at home, and with you, says this post.
Every parent struggles and sacrifices a lot to provide a valuable life to their kids. But now, a valuable life has become, frankly speaking, equal to financial security. As a school-going kid, I studied that water is the most indispensable element, but now, water has been replaced by money. To an extent, it is true, but we shouldn’t dare to forget about important environmental issues. Investment in the conservation of our environment and natural resources is now necessary, and one has to think about the serious impact this deteriorating planet will have on our offspring!
Planet Earth is a ‘loan’ from our forefathers, and we should not exploit it so much that the damage caused will be, irreparable and unsustainable. If we do, the coming generations will have to accept living on a planet which is unhealthy.
To think of it logically, if there is no liveable Earth, then will all the financial security matter? A sensible approach is to create awareness about sustainable alternatives, eco-friendly lifestyles, and more importantly, practising all this ourselves before teaching the younger generation.
In this era of technology, the Internet can be used as an important tool. It is very well-known that charity begins at home; I believe every good thing begins at home. As a parent, it is our duty and responsibility to involve these young brains with issues related to the environment. Nurturing environmental awareness would definitely add to their personalities. We could start with this:
There is a very thin line between ‘want’ and ‘need’. The sooner one understands this, the better it is for mankind.
It is very important to make our kids realise that everything displayed on the shelf or advertised is not meant to be owned. We as parents, make sure to provide our kids with everything, (which we didn’t get as kids) and this is where we forget that gradually, we are encouraging them to make more demands or create necessities.
It is of utmost importance to ask a very simple question before you buy something – ‘Do I need it or do I want it?’ The answer will help to achieve the first ‘R’ – Reduce. A very basic concept exists, demand is equal to supply and an artificial demand can be created by forcing the need to supply or manufacture, which ultimately takes a toll on natural resources. Start using this simple question and categorise your purchase as need or want, whether it be toys, gadgets, clothes, or furniture etc
Talk to kids about reducing the use of electricity. Start with simple acts like putting off lights, ceiling fans or any electronic appliance if not in use.
The Internet can be used to read newspapers, magazines, and novels. Try using online subscriptions to minimise paper usage. A huge amount of waste is produced in paper production and processing.
If fond of reading books, joining a community library. Reading on a Kindle/e-reader would also contribute to a greener planet.
Commuting short distances using public transport, bicycle or a promenade should be encouraged rather than using a two-wheeler or four-wheeler. Kids need to understand about pollution and exhaustion of natural resources.
The concept of Reusing still exists in many families. There is no harm and one shouldn’t feel ashamed of this second important ‘R’ that finds potential scope in every little thing throughout the day. Talking to kids about general stuff like:
Carrying our own lunch boxes, which we all generally do in India, is more eco-friendly than buying takeaways. Talking to kids about the waste generated from takeaways forces them to think about the right way to do things.
Every house generates so much of unwanted stuff – like toys, furniture, clothes, electric appliances. There are many charities that collect such stuff and provide to people who are in need.
Sharing is caring. Sharing toys, books and other such items that can be shared or borrowed saves money and our planet.
There is a lot of stress on the third ‘R’ – Recycle. Recycling is not an easy process and is a costly affair. If thought through meticulously, one can contribute to recycling.
You could buy things made of recycled materials – recycled paper, greeting cards, recycled polythene bags etc
Buy only those materials that are recyclable.
Often we don’t realise the harm caused to our planet due to ‘overdoing’. To lead a good, comfortable and quality life it absolutely isn’t necessary to ‘overdo’ things by buying a lot of fancy, upbeat or trendy stuff. Life can be good by keeping it simple. Let’s not forget that the next generation has to deal with severe global warming issues and they need to be addressed. Doing a science project in school doesn’t solve this problem but finding out ways to solve this or minimise the gravity of global warming should be our approach.
Be the first to take an initiative, and others will follow you. Walking with kids through the woods, discussing environmental problems at the dinner table or creating a group of children in a society wherein one can nurture environmental awareness are different ways to do this.
Whatever damage to the planet has been caused can’t be repaired, but this small initiative can at least try to give our next generation a liveable, green and healthy planet.
Pic credit: Image of little girl holding a new sprout in her hands via Shutterstock
I have always loved writing and strongly believe that writing can create social awareness . I love writing blogs and want to write a novel someday. I also feel strongly about woman and her social emancipation read more...
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Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).
Gender stereotypes, though a by-product of the patriarchal society that we have always lived in, are now so intricately woven into our conditioning that despite our progressive thinking, we are unable to break free from them.
Repeatedly crossing, while on my morning walk ̶ a sticky, vine-coloured patch on the walkway, painted by jamuns that have fallen from the jamun tree, crushed by the impact of their fall, and perhaps, inadvertently trampled upon by walkers, awakens memories of the mulberry tree that stood in my parents’ house when I was growing up. Right at the entrance of the house, the tree caused a similar red and violet chaos on the floor, which greeted us each time we entered the gate.
Today, as I walked by this red-violet patch, I was reminded of an incident that my mother had narrated to me several times. It had taken place shortly after her marriage and her arrival in this house from her hometown.