Earth Day is almost here, which means there is no better time than now to teach your kids about the environment. And more importantly, how to take care of it!
The Quran says “[d]o no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order.” So even though they’ll probably learn a little bit about the environment at school, it’s always good to talk about it from a religious perspective at home.
And on that note, here are our five favourite tried-and-true methods for teaching your kids about taking care of the environment.
Start with a story
Research shows that storytelling is a great way to teach new ideas, like environmental stewardship, to kids; not to mention it makes for some great family time! Think your kids might be too young? No way! There are lots of fantastic earth books out there for kids of all ages. Some of our favourites are the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax (he speaks for the trees!), Oliver Jeffers’ Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, and Noor Kids’ Protectors of the Planet.
Have a park cleanup
Actions speak louder than words, so next time you take the kids to the park, encourage them to not only clean up after themselves, but to throw out any other litter they see. If you want to take things a step further, and for a great way to spend a few hours outside, join a volunteer clean up group! Check with your local government for upcoming community cleanups.
Ditch the disposables
The modern Canadian lifestyle may generate a lot of waste, but just because it can, doesn’t mean it has to! Before they put something in the trash can, teach your kids to ask themselves “do I really need to throw this out? Can it be fixed or reused?” For the things they do decide to throw out, get your kids to keep track of everything they dispose of for a week, then get them to pick something(s) that they can replace with a reusable option.
Cut back on car trips
Now that the Canadian winter is finally over (at least for most of us), it’s a good time to try walking, taking transit or carpooling to family gatherings when it’s feasible. Making lots of little changes will really add up over time! If your family is able to cut 5,000 miles off your car’s annual travels, you’ll save a whole tonne in carbon emissions. Added bonus, your family will be more physically active while you all get from point A to point B, appreciating nature together along the way.
Every parent has had this happen to them at some point: your kid comes home from school where they’ve learned something new. They tell you all about it and then, because a child’s curiosity is truly insatiable, they start asking you lots of questions, and then the realization hits you … your kid might know more about this than you do! While we love when our kids teach us new things, we still want to be able to answer their questions. So get ready for the inevitable by reading up on how to be a good environmental steward yourself. There are even some great resources about caring for the planet from an Islamic perspective, making sure the religious reasons to take care of the earth are always top of mind.
How do you teach your kids about caring for the environment? Share your stories with us over on the Zabiha Halal Facebook Page.
Also, Ramadan is on the way, and we have lots of great content coming on how to celebrate the season with kids. Sign up for our email list so you’ll be the first to know when we drop something new!