We’ve heard the phrase, “The children are our future,” so many times that it’s become a cliché. But clichés happen for a reason: they’re true! The best way to ensure the ability of our planet for the long run depends the environmental awareness of our children in ecosystems, our role, and our responsibility.
Environmental Awareness At Home
Setting up a home garden is an investment that pays off in countless dividends. Consider designating a section of your yard or patio for a kitchen garden, with a focus on edible produce and herbs, or a flower garden, with a focus on beautiful blooms to delight the eye. With a few fairy or gnome figurines and a little imagination, any garden can afford hours of imaginative, nature-based play. Outdoor kitchen gardens, gardens grown specifically for produce and herbs, offer the opportunity to explore new foods as crops need to be rotated according to the seasons. Building a raised bed helps to define the area for growing and contain the nutrients and water where it counts. Plus, they tend to look pretty darn cute.
Gardeners limited on space can enjoy fresh produce with container gardens, using pots and pre-made planters from the store. Indoor gardens offer the opportunity to grow your favorite fruits and vegetables all year round. Imagine: caprese salad made with fresh tomatoes and basil in the middle of winter! In addition, indoor gardens don’t require weeding, as outdoor gardens do, and can be more comfortable to tend in all types of weather. Stuck inside on snowy days? Blazing heat outside? You can still have fresh veggies without setting a foot outside.
Environmental Awareness At School
Are you a teacher, parent or school volunteer? You are in a powerful position to increase the environmental awareness of your students in large and small ways. Team the kids up and take the class outside for a scavenger hunt, searching for leaves of different sizes, twigs with two or more leaf node scars, pebbles featuring two or more colors, or in the shape of an animal. A school garden offers endless opportunities for science and math exploration. Indoor gardens require more in setup, but the highly controllable conditions tend to feature easier upkeep and greater output year round. Go a step further and make two small gardens – one inside and one outside – and see which one does best! Kids can predict the outcomes, create hypotheses and chart the progress.
Ultimately, know that education is power, and awareness is the starting point. What can you do today to connect the kids in your life to their environment?
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