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Caring for Our Planet- The Earth is home to all of us, February 17, 2017
Posted 02/17/2017 11:25AM

Caring for Our Planet - The Earth is home to all of us

As far as we know, there is only one Earth in this universe. It is our home, and it teems with a unique community of life. It is not owned by our generation only, but is also held in trust for our future generations. Even though we know this, we are not taking care of it as we should. The facts are that we exploit faster than we replenish. We use rather than re-use.

Now, we stand at a critical moment in the Earth's life, a time when humanity must choose its future. The greatest challenge facing humankind is how to look after the earth's resources and create an ecologically sustainable society.

Caring for the environment is more than just planting trees. It includes how to keep our air and water pure, and the plants and animals alive and thriving. It involves bringing concerns about the environment and development to your children's notice, to enable them to understand the links between the two, and to equip them with the skills and motivation to take appropriate action.

The Challenges Ahead

The choice is ours: thinking globally and taking action locally. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, homes, institutions, and ways of living. Starting from our daily life, here are six actions that can help us to be better parents, and which educate our children to care for the environment and for our planet.......

1. Reflect on a typical day in your life

To raise our appreciation of the environment and to learn how the environment and society are related, we need to think about consequences for the environment and our society of each action in our daily life. We need to be critical of every action and everything that we do or use, such as shampoo, soap, water, electricity, paper, and many other things that will have environmental and social implications.

When you start thinking about your day, from in the morning, until you go to the bed in the evening, you will find that every action will have some effects. When you use soap or toothpaste, you need to think about where the material is from. When you use water for taking a shower, you should think about where it comes from, and where it goes. When you put on your clothes, you need to think how much material has been used to make them, and how it was made. If you throw out papers, you need to consider how many trees have been cut down to make it, and how many trees are left.

As parents, we need to have an understanding about how the environment is affected by our daily life style. We need to model how we treat the environment through our actions and reflect on the consequences.

2. Have a look at your surroundings

When you drive your children to school each morning, do you notice the environment around you? When you take them to the shopping mall, do you ask them about what they have seen? Did you talk with them about their surroundings? What kind of environment is around you? Become familiar with it, and, when you know your surroundings better, you can anticipate the effects of your actions. Give your children the skills and knowledge to be more aware of the environment around them.

3. Talk about ecology!

We usually think that ecology is a topic taught in science classes. We do not consider that it might be fun to talk about it during breakfast, lunch, or relaxation time. When we do talk with family and friends, we usually discuss fashion, music or films, and we spend a lot time chatting about actors and celebrities. We don't show enough empathy for the place in which we live, for the earth that supports our life.

Start the discussion with the environment around you. Talk to your children about how the environment was before they were born. when you were their age. In further discussions, you can compare then with the current situation, and discuss the implications of natural changes to the environment and society. Use current issues about the environment to encourage your children to have empathy for the place where they live.

4. Get back to nature

Children have so much curiosity about life around them. They will ask you many questions and, if you stimulate them from the beginning of their lives about nature, then they may develop a passion about the environment in their later life. Take them to the zoo instead of going to the mall every weekend. Take them to the botanical gardens and have a picnic near a lake rather than have lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant. We need to get outside and appreciate nature if we want to create a more caring generation.

5. Doing small things is better than doing nothing

When we teach our children about something, the best way to do that is through modelling. So, we have to show our children where we put trash, how we care for trees and animals, and how we should try to save energy (such as electricity) in our house. Doing small things is better than doing nothing. You should work together as a team in your family to be environmentally friendly in your daily life style.

6. Your children see what you do, and copy it

Unfortunately, as an adult, we can forget to be a good model for our children. Our children see what we do. Be a model for them now so that they learn to care about and respect others and the environment in which they live.

Five Simple Strategies to teach your child to care for our planet:

  1. Talk about environmental problems on our planet with your child-even small children know the concept of "cleaning up a mess".
  2. Talk about the consequences of actions with your child eg: "imagine if everyone threw their paper on the ground.
  3. Take your child camping, and share the wonder of being in natural surroundings.
  4. Involve your child environmentally–friendly actions, such as turning off lights, or helping with a neighborhood cleanup.
  5. Mode! environmentally-friendly actions, so that you are making a contribution to the well being of our planet, and ensuring that your child will continue your work.

Nishimachi International School
2-14-7 Moto Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0046 Japan Tel: +81- (0)3-3451-5520

A well-recognized, independent, and coeducational K-9 international school in central Tokyo.

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