Can our kids really help our planet? Yes, yes, yes, they can. In my opinion this generation is more cognizant and caring for the environment they live in.
There is clear research that taking an active part and giving back to the world produces great happiness, compassion and fulfillment. I believe our children have the planet on their radar in 2015.
Specifically when children give back to the planet, it helps to solidify a conscious effort on their part to think more globally, rather than focus on what is happening in their own microcosm of the world.
Remember when we were kids (I am probably showing my age) and recycling was a foreign concept? We threw things out of the car window with reckless abandon for our environment, and Styrofoam was a mainstay.
We couldn’t begin to conceive that leaving behind the plastic that connected our six pack of “Tab” (a diet soft drink, later replaced by Diet Coke) would entangle and kill sea creatures. We just didn’t think about it. The environment was not on our radar, and certainly it was not being taught at home or in schools for most of us.
Today, most of us recycle. We use water bottles far more than buying plastic ones. We throw away our garbage instead of using the outside world as our garbage pail. We talk about global warming, icebergs and glaciers, and sea levels.
People are engaged in sustainable lifestyles with their children in this country more than ever. This information is being taught at home, in our schools and in our community.
My daughter, now 15, reports feeling inspired by doing compost gardens in 3rd grade and engaging in the school recycling project in middle school. She remembers these projects well, and she felt good about them.
Education and dialogue about these issues is step No. 1. Taking action is step No. 2. The great thing about taking action is everyone can affect the world, even in the smallest of ways. According to American President John F. Kennedy, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
In our own backyard, we have amazing programming that is geared for our little ones to make a difference.
Heal the Planet is a wonderful program whose mission is to educate, empower, and inspire people to make conscious choices that are good for their body, contain no harmful chemicals or side effects to the environment, and in that simple way, heal the planet.
The SEED Project is a free, interactive energy and mindfulness program to encourage making healthy food choices and participating in healthy sustainable lifestyle habits. It is already in many South Florida public schools.
Wuf Shanti is a South Florida-based and family-owned company that specializes in bringing the Yogi mindset of peace, love and happiness to children and their families across the globe. Through it, children learn to love and appreciate each other regardless of nationality, color, religion or economic background.
Being Earth– conscious is attainable and can be incorporated into daily living. If I had to guess, you are probably doing it already. Ask yourself this question: What am I doing with my children to be thoughtful and caring to Mother Earth?
Now for a few more examples of loving our planet:
Do you recycle?
Do you use real plates, cutlery and glasses as opposed to paper and plastic?
Do you remain calm in the face of adversity?
Do you turn off the TV and raise the air conditioning when you leave the house?
Do you eat organic?
Do you encourage kindness to others regardless of their ethnicity or limitations?
Do you encourage open dialogue and communication on appreciating the differences among us?
Do you encourage your children to relocate bugs and other pesky insects rather than stomping on them?
These questions are not meant to be judgmental. As parents, we have way too much judgment in our lives, especially from self. These questions are meant to be thoughtful in nature.
We can also get out in our community and give our time. Volunteering is an amazing way to help our children feel happy rather than trips, iPhones and shopping at the mall (although these things are really fun).
A study at Stanford University found “an avenue to happiness that is often overlooked: people may in fact feel a rush of happiness when they help others (Gilbert 2006; Williams and Lee 2007).” Here’s the best part: It’s free.
As with anything else we want to teach our children, we have to be positive role models. Children do what they see, not what we tell them to do. Let’s all do our part in loving each other and loving Mother Earth.