The Importance of Ecological Literacy for Children

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Beyond any doubt, climate change is an existing issue that can drastically affect the life on our planet. Taking immediate measures to offset the ongoing and increasing hazards is important, but is not enough. It is vital to teach our children about environmental sustainability and the alternatives it offers. They should be aware about their place in nature and the way they impact their surroundings.

Ecological literacy is essential to create a sustainable society.  Most children are ignorant about their role in the society and the environment. Their small world revolves around their home, school, family and friends. The concept of going green may be too complex for young children to comprehend. If properly presented, though, it can help them realize the consequences of their actions and their influence on the environment. Eco-friendly practices will also teach children how to think on a larger scale and to be more responsible about their choices. When they grow up, they will be more mindful about the decisions they make and the products they buy, like picking high- quality eco-friendly cleaners over the conventional ones.

Consumerism is at the core of the problem. The mass-production and mass-consumption of goods deplete the scarce resources and materials and increases the carbon emissions which are the primary culprits for the global warming. Our culture and modern environment constantly tell us that we need more to feel happy. Children are becoming consumers from a young age. Think of the commercials that interrupt your kids’ show and tell them that they need a certain toy, video game or junk food.

When encouraged by parents, teachers or other key figures, children can easily adopt the idea of “less is more”.  Raising a minimalist child means less clutter for cleaning. With the proper approach and the right information, going green and being sustainable can even be fun. Children need to learn to value experience over stuff. One way to do this is by helping them appreciate nature and the wildlife. Engage your kids in activities like cycling, hiking or taking a walk in the park.

Teaching children how to protect the environment will allow them to develop certain character.  They will be more creative when it comes to reusing and repairing their toys and clothes, instead of simply throwing them away. Kids will also become more responsible about their possessions and learn the difference between luxury and necessities.

Ecological literacy will foster long-lasting green habits in children. If a kid grows up in a home where the waste is recycled, the food leftover are composted and the domestic cleaning is eco-friendly, they will carry out this behavior through their entire life.

The ignorance of the previous generations should not necessarily determine the future of our children. If we raise kids that care for the environment, we can successfully win the fight with the global warming and the pollution.

How do you help the environment?


Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.

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