How children can become green warriors

By Kudrat Sekhon

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Good habits, if inculcated at a young age, significantly transform a person’s character drastically. Nature being a good teacher, can teach us a lot. Its operation teaches us life’s lessons. Therefore, it is vital for humans to take care of our environment and act morally. Children can emulate the environment friendly practices as followed by adults around them. Going further, there are many unique ways through which they can “Care For The Planet” and become “Green Warriors”.

For young children, involving friends in activities that are eco-friendly can help in making these activities more fun.

  • Borrowing books from seniors: Hand-me-downs can be an effective way to reduce paper wastage as well as usage. Instead of purchasing new books, seniors can always be requested to lend their books for use.
  • Making books out of surplus pages: Instead of buying a new rough notebook, collecting pages from various old notebooks to make a new one can be an excellent way to upcycle registers.
  • Using wooden pencils as clutch pencil substitutes: Wooden pencils make an excellent clutch pencil replacement. Additionally, the pencils include a seed that can be used to plant a tree.
  • Using bamboo toothbrush- Bamboo toothbrush is the new substitute for plastic ones. They’re great bio-degradable standard replacements now and are cost-friendly too.
  • Switching to steel straws from plastic ones. It can take a very long time for plastic straws to decompose. So, to do your bit for the environment, sip your cold coffee with a reusable steel straw that can be washed and used again.

For older kids and teens, the following can tasks can be taken up by them :

  • Switch off the charger: Even when you are done charging your phone, but leave the charger plugged with the switch on, electricity continues to flow even then. This is called Phantom Power or Vampire Power and such a habit must be changed immediately. Turn off game consoles when not in use as well as the television instead of letting them stay on standby mode.
  • Connect extension cords to make it easier to remember to turn off lights. By doing this, it will be harder to forget to switch things off because there is only one switch that will have to be pressed to turn off any gadget.
  • Use low-energy bulbs. By using bulbs that do not consume a whole lot of energy, one can reduce one’s carbon footprint and make an effort to save as well as maintain the planet while sitting at home.
  • Use a smart meter to know how much electricity is being used. By keeping a tab on electricity consumption, it will be easier to judge how much energy can be saved by using gadgets smartly.

Certain activities can be done by kids from both age groups:

  • Celebrate festivals together while being environment conscious. For instance, gifting home grown saplings to one another and sowing them will not only prove to be good for the environment in the long run but would also enhance the sense of community, solidarity, and togetherness. Giving plants / saplings as gifts for birthdays or even as return gifts is another way to care for the planet.
  • Garbage segregation: By keeping 2 dustbins adjacent while working on a school project, for example, one can imbibe the habit of segregating dry waste from wet one. It doesn’t always have to start from the kitchen. Doing it on an individual or a personal level irresopective of the place (school/home/community places)makes all the difference.
  • Children must be taught to consciously consume the precious resource of water. ask them to take only the needed amoubt for water in a glass for drinking to ensure its wastage is avoided. They can refill if needed. Wasing of hands and activites like brushing of teeth and fresening up must be done without the water gushing away in the basin or bathrooms.

The above mentioned steps may seem very small or insignificantfor an individual. Yet, their combined impact would be monumental. We must teach children the importance of protecting the environment from an early age. If one wishes to protect the biodiversity of our earth, one must use natural resources wisely and consciously. By including children in this important endeavour, we are not only making them environment resource conscious but building a future generation of green warriors to whom we can safely pass on the mantle of taking “Care of the Planet”.

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