Let's say you have kids of your own, nieces, nephews, or even an entire classroom to teach sustainability to. You’re probably pretty lucky. You get to pass on the knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. Sustainability in this respect is about mindfulness about the natural world. And our waste in it.
Wrappers, containers, food waste, bottles, unused perishables, lots of stuff. Adults know better. Kids don’t. This is where sustainable lifestyle education can be a useful thing. We teach the next generation. One good way is through lessons. Lessons on sustainability. Kids are not yet at the point of learning from being told, typically.
But children might learn better by the example of guardians in their lives. So, that means we can set examples, in a fun and entertaining way. One activity that we can do with kids is going on a hike. If you go into nature, you can bring along a camera, sketchbook, and encyclopedia of plants. You can even study some of the plant life beforehand.
Knowledgeable guides are always appreciated! And when kids come across something that they have interest or find of interest, they can look it up, or you can look it up for them, even open up a conversation about the plant, its history in the area, and its possible uses. It's building a knowledge of and respect for nature. Always a good thing!
Sustainability starts with the consideration of the natural world. Maybe, in the future, the child can develop an appreciation for the natural world in a concrete way. You can throw on some of the Jolly Dragons Collection for the kids and hit the trails. (Some suggested sizes based on age.)
You can even prepare some of the reading time as material for the hike before the trip too. You can build an imaginative aspect for the kids. Age appropriate children’s stories about wildlife can help because there’s lots of lively characters in them.
But keep in mind, they’re kids. So, make it interesting, lively, and fun, and do some prep work, but think about time limits for focus and interest on their part. Too long, they might dislike it at that point. So, it might be good to gauge their typical energy level and focus, bring some snacks, and keep checking on their interest and energy.
Other than that, look up the local trails, and head out in the wilderness (with trails)!
By Scott Douglas Jacobsen.