With increasing population by every minute, there is a high demand for food and lesser supply. In order to, increase the yields to meet the supply, farmers are making use of high amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and in turn quality takes a backseat for quantity. With the growing need of the hour for healthier and mindful sustainable choices towards better living, it is important to teach the younger generation, who are going to lead tomorrow’s future, how to grow their own food, how to live in an eco-habitat community responsibly along with other co-dwellers of the biodiversity.
Bringing up children in communities surrounded by green spaces and vast biodiversity helps kids stay connected to nature. They learn the inter-relations and inter-dependence between them and other flora and fauna co-existing with them in the eco-habitat. Living in eco-communities should be the first essential choice in nurturing young eco-children.
Growing up in eco-communities, children naturally fall in love with mother nature. They learn to appreciate all the elements of nature- air, water, and earth. This provokes them to choose sustainable choices to save the environment they love. They would learn to conserve natural resources.
Teach them the importance of saving water and food. Inculcate the eco-friendly habits of water harvesting and waste management right from a very young age to make it their lifestyle choice.
Teach children to grow their own consumables. Have a mini garden. It does not require a lot of space and varieties like coriander, tomato, mustard can be grown in boxes available at home and placed in the balcony or even a window sill.
Teach them the importance of avoiding over the counter chemicals to grow food. Introduce them to vermicomposting, which is recycling of food and kitchen waste which can be used as a manure for your kitchen garden. This also inculcates the sustainable lifestyle and choice of waste management in children.
Ask children to grow a plant, preferably of greens or vegetables, and ask them to observe the changes the plant undergoes during various time periods. By understanding how long it takes for the plant takes to turn into a product, they began to have a greater appreciation for the food on their plate.
Create a weekly activity with your children of making a dish together using ingredients from your own kitchen garden. Help them understand the importance of cooking from scratch and avoiding processed and packaged food.
Make frequent trips to the local farmer’s market. It helps them understand the journey of food from the farms to their plates, the difference between seasonal foods, and one’s available all around the year. It helps them stay connected to their food providers, which cannot happen when shopping in the aisle of a supermarket.
Make frequent visits to the farm. Walk them around the vegetable farms and show them the various farming processes. Visit an animal farm, show them where the dairy products come from. Interactions with the farmers help them understand the time and energy that goes into providing them timely meals.
By involving the young generation in communities’ intensive farming, they learn life skills that cannot be learnt from a book like Self-reliance, working hard, raising and appreciating food, caring and sharing with their peers and they grow up as children of Mother nature and they become a part of the solution and not the pollution.