Our world is at an environmental tipping point. Rainforests are being decimated, endangered animals are creeping towards extinction and global warming is a stark reality. It's not a pretty picture, but thankfully, because of activists who have brought awareness of environmental issues to the forefront, an empowered and ever burgeoning social movement has taken shape and "green" is in. This movement is no longer comprised of a niche group of hippies clinging onto the 1970s, but has become a zeitgeist, driven by increasing awareness, adoption of more eco-friendly measures and most importantly, a willingness to change.
Because of the growing efforts of this global green community, we are making strides towards preserving the invaluable resources for generations to come. It is up to us to pass the knowledge along to our children and ensure that they start, from a much younger age than we did, adapting their lives to take care of the environment and not just consume its resources. When our kids are older, no longer will there be a question of 'paper or plastic,' no longer will recycling be a decision, but a way of life.
Although awareness and education are the first steps, scientists and environmentalists have already assessed the irreversible damage that has been done to our Earth. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has provided the following alarming statistics on the effects of global warming:
- #1: Rank of 2005 as hottest year on record (tied with 1998), according to NASA.
If some of these grave projections come to fruition, the world will look like a very different place when our kids are adults, and who knows what else will be missing/extinct/eradicated from the environment for our kids' kids. As parents, our goals revolve around our kids' futures and preparing them to face the world around them. If we can provide our kids with a foundation early on to be mindful of their impact on their environments, we can collectively be responsible for helping slowly reverse the ecological damages our Earth has faced in the recent century.
Here are some simple tips for teaching your kids the basics of eco-friendly living. These are common sense practices that will not only help save our Earth's resources, but will help families save money as well:
- Make sure your kids turn off the water when they brush their teeth to cut down on water consumption.
The most important tip of all is to practice what you preach. If you are environmentally friendly and engage in all the behaviors you're encouraging your kids to take part in, your kids are much more likely to adopt these practices.
It only takes small steps for all of us to make a big difference.