Sustainability is defined as looking at ways to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. As more people focus on protecting the earth, the need to educate our children and young people is more important than ever. Here are the 5 top reasons why children need sustainability education to be taught from a young age.
1. Understanding the Balance between Society and the Environment
An excellent way to create an eco-friendlier future is by teaching kids to identify environmentally friendly companies as part of their sustainability education journey. In addition, this can prompt them to create their own eco-friendly companies or practice eco-friendly agricultural practices.
As people change their spending habits to buy more eco-friendly products, knowing which companies support those beliefs is critical. Here are the top signs a company is eco-friendly:
- Switches to plastic-free, compostable, or biodegradable recycling packaging
- Implements the use of waste or recycled products in the manufacturing of packaging and products
- Reducing or eliminating the use of single use packaging
- Using local suppliers to decrease use of fossil fuels
- Increased use of renewable energy sources like wind or solar
- Improve manufacturing procedures to reduce harmful waste that can pollute the air or water
2. Gain Sustainable Life Skills
There are many ways to make sustainability a part of a person’s life. For example, degrees in energy, manufacturing and agriculture are instrumental in sustainability. In addition, biologists, researchers, and environmentalists can apply what they learn to improve sustainability. Other sustainable skills to learn include the following:
- Learning how to grow food
- Opening green businesses
- Identifying (and using) sustainable products
- Conserve precious resources
3. Understanding the Interdependence Between Humans and the Environment
Sustainability education at an early age and learning how humans and the environment need each other for survival is critical. Two examples of this, that can be easily taught as part of an engaging sustainability education program for young people, are trees and the oceans:
Trees. Trees help humans and the environment is several surprising ways:
- Provide the earth with oxygen
- Provide biodiversity, hosting hundreds of different species of insects, plants, and mammals
- Remove carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants from the air
- Absorb water, reducing the risk of flooding and landslides
- Help control the climate by absorbing greenhouse gasses
- Provide an assortment of nuts, berries, fruits and leaves to eat
Oceans. Oceans help humans and the environment in several key ways:
- Provides over 50% of the world’s oxygen
- Stores carbon dioxide
- Helps regulate climate by transporting heat from the equator to the poles
- Provides food for billions around the world
- Many medical ingredients come from the ocean
4. Learning to Respect the Planet
It’s critical people learn to love, protect and respect the planet and not take it for granted. Sustainability education for our young people will help our future generations be educated on how littering impacts the environment.
Littering. Litter can be defined as materials that have been dumped or disposed of in a reckless manner. There are several types of littering:
- Air pollution
- Groundwater pollution
- Marine pollution
- Land pollution
Viruses and germs can thrive in litter and spread both disease and infections to animals and humans alike. In addition, land litter can attract rodents and pests like rats, which can spread disease as well and drastically affect living conditions. By understanding the dangers of littering at an early age, children can grow up and become responsible adults by littering less than previous generations.
5. Easier Adaptation to Future Trends
As the world moves to clean energy and all it entails, children must go along with these changes as well. By explaining to them what is going on at an earlier age and why changes are necessary, their ability to adjust will be much easier. In addition, they will be more engaged whilst on their sustainability education journey as well as more determined to help save the environment for their children and grandchildren.
One of the best ways to help children adapt is by simply getting them outside and enjoying the beauty of nature and the incredible world we live in. By participating in many fun and engaging outdoor activities that are also educational, could help them become more interested in protecting and saving the planet and inspiring their young peers to do the same.
In addition to shifting to clean energy, other changes that may impact our future include the following:
- Global warming
- Food insecurity
- Extreme weather patterns (droughts, flooding, cold, etc.)
These and other events could have a major impact on our lives. The ability to adapt and find ways to cope with these changes will be key.
As the world changes, humans must also change along with it. This means children must be part of the plans too. And sustainability education is key. By gradually introducing children from a young age to sustainability and explaining why it’s important, they will have a much easier time adjusting to the new normal. Start the sustainability education process today by talking to your children about sustainability and our environment. The more they know, the better prepared they will be.
Want to learn more about Naturpac?
Naturpac are an eco friendly packaging company in NSW, Australia created by J-Tech Systems to bring a new level of farm produce sustainable packaging to the fresh produce industry. Environmental packaging and sustainable produce packaging are Naturpac’s specialty with a focus on recycled packaging, recyclable packaging, biodegradable packaging and compostable packaging. They are passionate about sustainability education, especially sustainability education in schools and for children to help young consumers of today shape the world for tomorrow.
Naturpac offer a broad range of fresh produce packaging supplies that are environmentally friendly. If you are in the fresh produce industry check out their range of The Paper People, Netpak, Earthcycle, Infia and Stepac along with Sinclair Ecolabels.
If you are a parent, teacher or community organisation wanting to learn more about the EcoChoice or Ecoplay education sessions reach out to the friendly team at Naturpac. We offer sustainability education throughout the school holidays and have a variety of at home kids activities or indoor activities for kids that will teach them how to make sustainable choices in their future for a better earth via our FREE online learning platform.