Do you practice energy-saving habits at home with your children? Now more than ever ‘Global Warming’ has become a household conversation and it is crucial for the conversation to continue and new habits to be created to help save our planet. To introduce sustainability principles to children in our Montessori school, we begin with understanding where our natural resources come from and ways we can positively impact the global environment through small daily tasks that create long-term benefits.
Dr. Maria Montessori wrote the following passage in her book called Citizen of the World: Key Montessori Readings “Nature has this beautiful arrangement in which everybody, while striving for his own life and happiness, does something for the improvement and conservation of the environment.” One of the easiest ways for children to help conserve energy is for them to enjoy playing outside. Nature is such a wonderful playground for children to learn and grow from. Designating outside time for children can help reduce screen time, improve moods, and help save energy. When children go outdoors for play, they reduce their energy consumption, use their imaginations, and connect with nature.
Allow children the opportunity to know and understand the natural enjoyment of being outside, all the while reducing the consumption of energy. Encouraging energy saving from a young age will benefit the child and the planet in the future. Children of all ages should be learning these principles; it is never too young to start.
Guiding young children to become stewards of our planet by becoming more mindful of our precious water resources is imperative. At La Jolla Montessori school, we read books that share ways to maintain and conserve water. Then show how to do so by monitoring how much water we use when we wash our hands, run the dishwasher/washing machine only when they are loaded to full capacity, as well as use recycled water to water the garden.
Avoid Food Waste
We help the young child to understand the concept of food consumption and food waste. In a Montessori classroom, the children help prepare snacks for the community. They learn to take reasonable portions and the class monitors food waste. Creating a practical plan to reduce food wastage in your home can be fun. Simply work on making a meal plan, adding new ingredients to leftovers to make a new meal and begin composting!
Create a ‘Get Sustainable’ Checklist
Once your child is excited about sustainability, create a visual checklist with tips to make it fun and easy for everyone in your household. Here are some ideas:
Children love to be involved in daily home activities and creating a visual checklist will entice them to be ready to participate in conserving energy from a young age. Use a checklist as a basic guide for them to learn sustainable practices that can help at home and in everyday life. Make it a game for kids to help them be more engaged with saving our planet. Parents that take the time to engage their child in going green, whether by having rules or making a game out of it, are teaching their families values that can last a lifetime.