Through the Friday-for-future demonstrations at the latest, climate change, but also our basic resource consumption and especially plastic consumption, is one of the top topics of the current time. Parents have a certain responsibility here, but above all a great opportunity. It is not enough to explain climate change for children. In this article, I would like to mention some areas where you can be a great role model for your child and contribute to a better future. You even save money.
There are many approaches to at least mitigating climate change. Thus, the legislator enacts various laws and the science and companies try to make their contribution by innovation. But every single one of us can also make his contribution. This is not just about climate change, it is about the consumption of our resources in general.
Explaining climate change for children
Explaining climate change for children
Parents in particular, especially young children, have a great opportunity to inspire future consumers to reduce resource consumption. For example, if your children learn from an early age what damage plastic can do to our environment and ultimately to ourselves, they probably won’t consume as much in the first place. Small things are already helpful, for example by bringing your children, which belongs to garbage in the garbage bin.
But even with everyday products, you can show the children that it can also be done without plastic. The use of a cloth bag or backpack when shopping, instead of the plastic bag as an example. Parents, as with many other areas of life, have a great and important role model.
Plastic waste a problem for generations
The importance of educating children about mindfulness when using resources is very clear in plastic. Because we have a plastic problem! We have known this at the latest since scientists recently warned us that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. A full load of plastic waste is dumped into the sea every minute. With around 12 million tonnes per year, Germany is the sad leader in the consumption of plastic.
Plastic is a problem not only for fish, but also for seabirds, because they confuse it with food. Plastic in the sea receives a layer of algae after a time, which makes it smell like food for the birds. So it’s not necessarily just the look that makes the birds think it’s food, it’s also the smell. Tragically, the mother feeds her babies with the plastic.
Since they cannot excrete the plastic, they starve because no real food fits in the stomach. This must be a terrible experience for the mother, especially as, in the worst case, she will starve all her babies.
You can talk to your children about this. In this way, they also become aware and realize that their way of life has an impact on other living beings. If you understand why, for example, a reduction in plastic consumption is positive, they will often implement this more often.
Link tip: Here our plastic bottle consumption is shown very impressively graphically.
Other important areas for exemplary “environmental education”
There are other areas where you can achieve a lot of positive things for the environment in education. Children who drink tap water from an early intheir, rather than expensive bottled water, are also likely to drink tap water as adults. This not only saves them a lot of money (approx. 220€ per year). They also avoid the consumption of glass or plastic (for the bottles) as well as the transport of them and thus protect the environment.
Even with Kinder’s darling, the toy, you can watch out for toys together with your children, which causes little garbage. Unfortunately, the packaging often causes a lot of plastic waste. If possible, use used or borrowed toys.
It is no secret that we produce food for about 10 billion people, we with about 7.6 billion people, but we do not manage to get enough of them all.
We just throw away too much food.
Per person, this is about 80 kg per year in Germany that are thrown away. So by making your children responsible for food, you contribute to a certain reduction, the enormous food waste, in the long term.
You can explain to your children that the production of meat, for example, consumes many resources. For the production of animal feed alone, agriculture consumes a lot of water, fuel (for tractors and other machinery), electricity, etc. Food should therefore be treated in a precious way. Because they are, even if the price does not reflect this in part (through discounters and subsidies, the price is kept low).
Another area where you can lead by example is the consumption of electricity. Electricity costs money, this is certainly a point children should learn. But it is also important to mention that resources are used to produce electricity and, for example, coal-fired power plants cause damage to the environment.
Running your TV, computer or game console, even though you don’t use the devices, is wasteful. But also the light in the hallway, does not have to burn unnecessarily. In this way, you and your child not only protect the environment, but also the purse.
This, incidentally, applies to most areas when it comes to conserving resources. Resource conservation helps not only the environment, but also your wallet.
If you pass on your savings to your children, at least in part, in the form of pocket money increases, they will certainly have a lot of fun with the environmentally friendly behavior.
As parents, we have it in our hands to shape a next generation that will handle our earth a little better than we do.
Over to you:
What do you do to be a good role model for your children?