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Changing Lifestyle with Environmental Education from an Early Age

Environmental phenomena are in a state of crisis, be it a crisis in the physical environment or the social environment. The indications are that agricultural land is becoming less productive, flora and fauna are becoming increasingly extinct, air pollution, landslides, floods, forest fires, and climate change.


Education provides new insights to children about the environmental crisis, understanding how to sort organic, inorganic and B3 waste, understanding the benefits of the environment for students at school and themselves, and also loving and protecting the environment even more because protecting the environment is important for prosperity and the sustainability of human life on this earth.


The importance of education from an early age, whether we realize it or not, will change lifestyles, consumption patterns and human behavior to make us more concerned about the sustainability of the earth.


The world, even Indonesia, will face a growing population of the younger generation or demographic bonus in this decade. Bearing this in mind, it is important to prepare a healthy next generation so that they can become pioneers in environmental awareness in the future.


The education process is not easy. It requires a process and requires patience because the results can also be seen, but it must start from an early age.


We can start with small steps, such as cultivating a love for nature and understanding the essence of nature is part of the educational process. Furthermore, he said that an environmentally friendly lifestyle could also be introduced and carried out as early as possible.


Apart from that, you can start from the habit of planting plants in home and school yards, throwing away and sorting waste, reducing waste including plastic waste, as well as reusing and recycling items that can be used.

Several ways to foster a caring attitude towards the environment from an early age:


1. Managing Waste


Teaching children to manage waste is the easiest way for parents to teach children to care about the environment.


Apart from throwing rubbish in the right place, parents also need to teach children to throw rubbish according to its type. Start teaching children various types of waste and how to dispose or manage them. The easiest way is to invite your children when managing waste.


When sorting waste with your children, don't forget to explain various things, starting from the various types of waste, why waste must be separated so that it doesn't pollute the environment, to the various environmental impacts that can occur if waste is not managed properly.


 2. Caring for plants and pets


Caring for plants and pets is also quite effective in cultivating children's environmental care attitudes.


If parents keep plants or animals at home, try inviting their children to take part in looking after them.


Start by explaining what the plant or animal is and what the plant or animal needs to live healthily. After that, parents can start inviting children to water plants, feed, or bathe animals together.


By inviting children to care for plants or animals, children's empathy will grow. Children will also realize that empathy is not only needed towards fellow humans, but also towards animals and plants and the surrounding environment.


3. Save electricity and water


Encouraging children to save electricity and water usage can be another way to set an example of caring for the environment.


No need to be grandiose, do something simple, for example asking children to turn off the lights or close the water tap after they have finished using it.


Apart from that, parents can also ask their children to make sure all unnecessary lights or electronic devices are turned off before going to bed.


In between these activities, don't forget to explain to your child why he needs to turn off the electricity and water tap to save energy and why this needs to be done.


Also explain that the electricity used at home is generated through coal power and needs to be saved so that pollution from this power does not pollute the environment.


4. Consume enough food


The next way to set an example of caring about the environment is to encourage children to consume enough food.


Food waste is the largest type of waste produced by Indonesia in 2021, namely 38.9 percent. In fact, 8.34 percent of Indonesian people still experience the problem of food shortages.


So, teaching children to eat enough food and produce as little food waste as possible can be an effective way to teach environmental awareness. Apart from making children learn to care about the environment, children also learn to be more sensitive towards others.


5.Introducing the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Once children understand waste management, it's time for parents to introduce the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle.


This can be a real example when teaching children about protecting the environment. For example, the reduce concept by using enough paper when drawing, reuse by using refillable drinking water bottles, and recycle by turning their used shoe box into a place to store their toys. Don't forget, parents must do this with their children to be an example for them.


6. Invite children to take part in mutual cooperation activities


Not infrequently, the neighborhood where parents live carries out mutual cooperation activities. This moment could be the right time to teach children to care more about the environment.


Apart from practicing caring for the environment, children also learn to socialize with people in their environment. This not only helps increase children's empathy for the environment, but also their social skills.

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