Why Environmental Education in Schools Is Important for Kids
Best School in HSR Layout | MS Dhoni Global School Bangalore
Did you know that nature-deficit disorder is an actual thing? It was coined first by the author Richard Louv to explain the consequences suffered by people who spent more time indoors than in nature. Difficulties in paying attention, obesity since childhood and diminished senses are some of the issues that kids may experience when they don’t spend enough time outdoors.
The importance of environmental education in schools was never entirely perceived in our country until a few years ago. Besides making the youth aware of the environmental problems and encouraging activities for environmental protection, there’s much that extends beyond. The direct benefits of spending time with nature is also an active purpose of environmental education in schools. It helps make the kids more active and attentive.
What is Environmental Education?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental education is not restricted to the process of promoting nature. It includes exploration of environmental concerns, engagement in problem-solving and taking necessary actions towards the same.
Students in school are encouraged to engage, involve and understand how and why things around us happen. It is only after they have formed their own opinions on such environmental issues that they act towards environment protection instead of simply learning the shared information. Environmental education also encourages critical thinking skills that promotes enhanced indulgence of kids with their communities. Ultimately, this helps students to understand the importance of the environment and why they should live eco-friendly and sustainable lives.
Given below are a few reasons as to why the right kind of environmental education in schools is important for kids:
Time spent in nature reinforces passion for the environment
It is obvious that the more time the kids spend outside, the more they will care about the environment. This stays true contrarily too. The more they care about the environment, the more they’ll want to spend time outside. Even though environmental education and outdoor education are not exactly synonymous, they are closely related with each other.
The impact of nature on our minds is profound, especially in kids for their mental and physical development. It was found that even two hours of time spent in nature per week is beneficial in terms of good health and well-being. The innate nature of children includes exploring, laughing, running, shouting. These activities, when allowed to exist in the rawest form in nature, can help improve their academic performance, reduce stress levels, enhance social skills and much more.
Nature offers a much less frictional learning curve for children that helps them familiarise with life in the truest form. These activities lead them to think critically, question and experiment until they unravel the truths all by themselves.
Develops sustainable habits from the start
Demystifying the importance of the environment to the kids and helping them fall in love with nature can contribute towards the development of sustainable habits to protect the environment. These habits developed early in life tend to stick around even when they are grown-ups. The simplest of such habits practiced over time can have large impacts tomorrow. Some common sustainable habits that can be encouraged in children are:
- Recycling old toys, clothes and other such products
- Incorporating the usage of reusable bags or avoiding plastic consumption
- Water saving acts such as turning off running taps when not in use
- Saving energy by switching off lights and fans when not in use
- Circulating their knowledge amongst their peers
Besides trying to build these habits in children, it is also essential that you lead by example as kids usually tend to adopt the habits of elders around them. Taking some time to help the young ones understand the limited availability of energy, and other natural resources can also make a huge impact.
Raise them to be eco-friendly consumers
It is only due to the human consumption habits that there has been a surging depletion in environmentally conscious products. However, the alarming rate of global pollution and the hazardous impacts of the same have started to raise consciousness around the world. This has led to the evolution of more and more eco-friendly products.
It is important that we as adults, begin to emerge as eco-friendly consumers and instill similar habits in our children. Such habits over time are certain to bring down the hazardous impacts of environmental pollution.
Kids are naturally imitating elders around them. Taking to the following habits are likely to leave behind a positive effect on our and our kids’ future. Some responsible habits are:
- Encouraging sustainable businesses
- Using energy-efficient gadgets
- Discarding usage of single-use plastics
- Buying products that are eco-friendly
- Avoiding fashion that keeps changing with the calendar
Most importantly, teaching kids the importance of such acts and how these small activities contribute towards the big goal is what makes all the difference.
Nurturing young advocates of environmental education
Eventually, it all boils down to forming sustainable, environmentally conscious habits for generations to come for this need has been created by generations that skipped such consciousness.
It is no new news that the change in climate will continue to persist unless we make conscious efforts to make it better. It is only through persistent efforts that we can expect some good out of it.
Environmental education in schools is all the more important for similar reasons and rightly so. It is time that we adopt the right way of going about it. Environmental education can not only improve the quality of life on earth environmentally but it can evidently help us all in leading a wholesome life with enhanced awareness.
It is for this reason that in MS Dhoni Global School, we prioritize the importance and methods of environmental education so that students here can make the most out of it.