Environmental awareness refers being aware about the natural environment and making choices that benefit the earth. Some of the ways to practice environmental awareness include: using safe and non-toxic building supplies, conserving energy and water, recycling, activism, and others.
Environmental awareness is pretty self-explanatory. It is about being aware of the environment. This refers to all flowers, animals and includes all marine and wildlife. The planet is currently facing an increasing number of environmental challenges, which include climate change, global warming, droughts, water scarcity, floods, and pollution.
Children, as early as possible, should be aware of the environmental issues we’re facing.
- It fosters a sense of connection to the natural world.
- Promotes sustainable development
- Encourages conservation of irreplaceable natural resources and vulnerable plant and animal species.
How to Promote Environmental Awareness in Children:
- Introduce them to everything local.
- Supporting local produce and production is an excellent way in which you can help the environment with immediate effect.
- Start a garden at home / school.
- Recycle at home.
- Teach students about alternate source of energy - solar power.
School: A centre of learning, an institution for educating children
If we look at this definition of a school, it is fair to say that schools have a responsibility towards our future leaders. This involves not only teaching them how to count, spell, read and write, but enshrining environmental awareness in them from an early age. We have gathered a few ideas on how to cultivate environmental awareness in schools.
Some practical tips schools can adopt:
- Introduce the 3 R's: reduce waste, reuse resources, and recycle materials.
- Organize tree planting days at school and tell them why trees are important to the environment.
- Encourage children to switch off all appliances and lights when not in use.
- Kids nowadays are quite inquisitive and always ready with a “why” or “how” when being taught something new.
- Schools have a responsibility towards future generations - not just teaching them how to read and write, but also educating them about environmental awareness.
How can teachers lead by example?
Most people remember things that people did more than what they said. Teaching children what it means to be environmentally aware is important but it will have a more lasting impact if teachers can lead by example.
- For teachers, when you see litter, pick it up even if it’s not yours. Those little eyes might be watching you.
- Start a recycling system in your classroom and show the children how to use it and recycle their things.
- Minimize use of papers prepared from trees and plants.
- Demonstrate different methods of recycling in the school, particularly waste paper to new paper.
- Recognizing that education is much more than just classrooms, books, and blackboards, we strive towards creating learning ecosystems that are the earliest experiments of resource efficiency measures that a child can learn from.
- Schools as sustainability labs make our young future citizens understand issues related to campus greening, natural lighting, zero waste zones, energy smart structures, biodiversity, etc., from an early age.
- Regular outing of the school children to the parks, botanical gardens. Help them to identify popular plants grown near by.
- Explain how trees and plant protect our environment. How human lives are dependent on plants.
Dr. R.K.Roy, Ph.D.(Hort.), FISOH,
Former, Sr. Principal Scientist &
Head, Botanic Garden, Floriculture & Landscaping Division,
CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute.
R.P. Marg, Lucknow - 226 001, Uttar Pradesh (INDIA)
Past Vice-Chair, Commission Landscape & Urban Horticulture,
International Society of Horticultural Science, Belgium.
Royal Horticultural Society, London;
Common Wealth Science Council, U.K.
The Bougainvillea Society of India, IARI, New Delhi