by Guest Blogger, Christy Baldwin, children’s author of Care for Creation
Teaching children the value of the Earth and nature is hard in today’s “tech-crazy” world. It is a challenge to pry kids away from their game systems, televisions and computers long enough to enjoy the great outdoors.
I say, “Get the kids outside and they will find lots of ways to enjoy themselves, and maybe even get some fresh air and exercise too.” My husband and I started taking our kids to State and National Parks and other “natural” locations very early. We love to point out interesting trees, listen for odd sounds, and walk slowly to try to observe wild life in its natural habitat. Our kids know the names of many plants and animals that others don’t, simply because they have been able to observe them in their natural habitat.
We feel it is very important to teach kids about the who, what, when, where and why of nature so that they will appreciate when they are around it. We also feel is it important to teach them various ways to protect the nature and resources. It is crucial that we think about not only leaving the outdoors as we found them but also what we can do to improve how we found the area.
For example, when you see trash, pick it up. But if you see a dirty corner of the street with grass or simple dirt, ask the owner (town or appropriate officials) if you can clean it up and plant a tree or flowers there. I venture to guess you will not be told no. Many people don’t slow down enough to notice nature, much less to care for it.
Examples of things you can do as a family or group include trash pick up days, flower or tree planting days, energy saver days, education days, nature walks, scavenger hunts, or even water conservation days. Recycling programs are also another way to reduce waste, recycle what can be reused and to educate the public on the effects of throwing everything into landfills.
10 Ways Your Family Can Save Energy, Resources & Money
- Take out screens in windows and seal any open areas
- Use a heavy blanket or draft cover around the edges of exterior doors
- Enjoy the nicer days by turning off heater and opening up the house
- Leave oven door open after baking to allow heat in the room (Caution: keep children away from the stove, out of the room if possible)
- Collect rain water to use for flushing, washing or watering
- Insulate your attic with extra blankets or purchase insulation
- Wrap pipes with foam sleeves or cover with blankets
- Cover your water heater with a blanket to keep warm
- Play in the yard rather than going out to the movies
- Make your own yummy treats from fresh produce rather than buying it in the stores