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10 easy steps to guide your child to be an Eco-Warrior

Fresh clean water, crisp air, the greenery around - feels great isn't it? How many of us would like our future generations to experience the same? Each one of us, right? But then, are we doing enough to keep our beloved Earth the way we received it? The honest answer is - no. Children learn and imbibe what they see or experience rather than what we teach them. So, the onus is on us to lead by example and guide our children is such a manner that they learn to co-exist with nature in a sustainable manner. Now, this is no rocket science - simple steps taken by individuals can go a long way to making a substantial difference.
What can we do? We can do so much just by following some easy steps and encourage our children also to do the same:

1. We can start with something like not littering on roads and public places like parks, roads, railway stations, airports etc. A quick look around would surely spot a dustbin for our trash. My children have imbibed this without telling them to do so as they have always seen us do this. My family and I carry a trash bag in our car during long trips to collect used bottles, chips packets, used tissues etc.

2. We can also, try to minimise the garbage produced at home. Garbage disposal is going to be one of the biggest challenges of future along with resource scarcity. Insist on segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste and practice of vermicomposting. It is mandatory in our housing society to do so as otherwise the garbage is not collected so my children also know the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste and how and why to segregate them just by practice. Charity begins at home!

3. Minimise the use of plastic - we hear this all the time and many a times say it as well. But what do we do? Hmmmm.... not much really. Is it really difficult to carry your own cloth or jute bag for shopping; avoid using plastic or
thermocol utensils/cutlery unless it is an emergency; use brown paper or newspaper to cover textbooks! Trust me it is not.... just try it out, it's easy!

4. More paper = lesser trees, despite all the recycling of paper that is done! So, let's minimise wastage of paper - print both sides; use remaining pages of notebooks as rough sheets (something I do at the end of each academic year with my children's notebooks), get a library membership instead of buying books every time (this one saves money too :-)).

5. Let us learn to practice the theory of 3Rs - Reduce (wastage of any kind), Reuse (anything that can be reused), Recycle (materials like metal, paper, glass). To do this we may have to unlearn a few things that we have been doing for so long but we won't know unless we try. Right?

6. Our dear Earth supports us with its resources to survive, but these resources are limited. Hence let us pledge to conserve resources like food, water, electricity and fuel - use these resources with prudence and caution: we may not have them tomorrow.

7. Once I read a simple story by Shel Silverstein called "The Giving Tree" and it changed my entire outlook towards trees. Open the world of stories about conservation of nature and environment for your children, go for nature walks, go to forest trails and camping trips during holidays - let them learn to love and respect nature.

8. Each one of us can plant a tree whenever there is an opportunity to do so and let our child be a part of the activity. Let them see the tree grow with them and be their friend for life.

9. Here is something that has worked with my children very well. Every time someone in the family does something eco-friendly, honour him/her with an "Eco-Warrior" badge. Children love laurels! I guess we adults do so
too!

10. Each one can be an eco-warrior. Together we are eco-army! Remember the saying - "practice before you preach" that's exactly what we have to do for a better future of our children. They deserve a clean, green and healthy world - let's help them create it!

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Anita is a qualified and experienced teacher, who has worked in schools of repute in NCR region and Pune. Passionate about teaching, she has undergone Montessori training as well as done her B.Ed. and has thorough understanding of various modern teaching methodologies. She is a creative, articulate and responsible person who explores opportunities that support continuous learning. She possesses excellent interpersonal skills and is a reliable team member who follows through on assignments consistently and meets commitments. On personal front, she loves to nurture her family of two growing up boys and her life partner who is working as senior executive in MNC. Being a parent who is actively involved in her children’s schooling, she truly believes that education is a cohesive force between the school, the parents and the students and each need to play an active part for the maximum benefit of the child.

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