Dr. Rachell N. Anderson
Earth gives us everything we need to live a happy, healthy life. It gives us food, water, heat, light. But without mental trickery or manipulation of the cause of catastrophic events, all we have to do is count up the degree days and we’ll see that we have some serious issues here. The human population is growing so fast and so is the amount of things we use and throw away every day! The Earth can’t keep up with all of our garbage. And as a result, the earth is warming in painful ways. The increase in Earth’s temperature is causing lots of problems for plants, animals, humans and the environment
Maybe, most of us will no longer need our earth home but our children and grandchildren will. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to teach our children how to take care of our earth home.
Our children are constantly learning how they can make a difference in the world. Taking care of the planet and preserving our resources can be incorporated in the lessons we teach about how to be in the world. Even small steps can make a big difference.
With the help of Dr. Google (HaHa) I found a number of ideas that resonated with me and I hope they will be helpful for you and the children in your care and guidance. Let’s begin with what I call the 3 Rs; Reduce, Re-Use & Recycle. These are things we can teach them and do ourselves.
What’s A Person To Do?
1. Turn off the lights, TVs, and appliances in all rooms that are not presently in use.
2. Avoid long showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth, lathering your hands and applying the shampoo. Use water saving appliances when possible. Check the water rating before you buy. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Wash your car on the grass.
3. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in winter. Open the windows whenever possible.
4. Save gas by driving slower, driving less and when possible, walk, bike or carpool or take a bus. Refuse to leave the car to idle more than a minute or two.
5. Use less plastic. Get Re-usable water bottles for all family members. If a plastic container is used, wash it and re-use it as many times as feasible. Instead of buying individually-packaged drinks, buy drinks in a bulk container and reusable water bottles. Take a reusable bag to the grocery store or ask for paper instead of plastic. The cloth ones last almost forever. Plastic is polluting our oceans and land and it’s causing harm to humans, animals and plants.
6. Recycle things. old batteries and electronics including computers, phones, televisions and games. Also, newspaper, cans and glass bottles have additional value. Most communities have a place to do this.
7. Plant things. A new tree every year is fun. Flowers, herbs and vegetables can be used to teach your kids how to care for the garden and to eat fresh and healthy meals.
8. Consider putting a compost bin on your property and put in all your coffee grinds, fruits and vegetable peels and left over food scraps. Composting is very good for the land because it is full of nutrients. Compost makes a good fertilize your garden.
9. Pick us the trash around your home, school or neighborhood. And make sure you don’t leave your garbage lying around. The cleaner we keep our environment, the happier we’ll be.
10. Save ink. Print things only when you have to and adjust your computer to make text easy to read when possible.
This verse from a poem written by Jeanette Neff in 1970 show how long care for the earth has been a concern for Americans.
When it’s broken, small, or empty
Will that be that something’s end
Can we fix to”
Can we fill it?
Can we give it to a friend?
Can we make that something something else
or will that something be
just a use-it-one-time-toss-it-out,
Remember, the best way to teach kids to care for their environment and their future is by showing them by example. Also take the time to explain to them the importance of saving the world from dying. After all, kids are watching their parents and they learn from our example.
© Dr. Rachell N. Anderson, June 26, 2019
Dr. Rachell Anderson is a native of Tunica, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Professor Emeritus and author. She taught at the University of Illinois and ran a Private Clinical Practice in Springfield, Illinois for many years. She now lives in Tunica, Mississippi and writes with the Tunica Chapter of the Mississippi Writers Guild. Check out her website at WWW.drrachellanderson.com for more articles and books she has written.