Town Invests $9m, Preserves 150 Acres (Wetlands)If it can happen on the East End of Long Island, where short term thinking has made developers rich and town politics less than transparent, Eco-CANsciousness may also be sprouting where you are.
(Surfrider) Competition Fosters Team Spirit (and Eco-Consciousness)
Green Innovator Finds 'Gold' in (Recycling) Old Rugs
I do, and I am on my way to caring more because as a parent, giving a child a connection to the outdoors is the best possible gift you can make to conservation of all natural things.
As a child sure I "cared" about the land, but mostly I just played outside. I breathed the sweet dew-kissed air in spring. Swam the surf in summer. I endured swimming and sailing lessons in murky, dark bay waters. I feared the jelly fish, the horseshoe crab, the deer tick. I was terrified of horses, and would put my initials on box turtles (in pink nail polish) as a way to track their visits to the yard.
My conservation record was less than ideal to say the least. Looking back, it was probably the total number of hours I spent outdoors in contact with nature that must have been the key to my eventually becoming Eco-CANscious.
Help your kids become Eco-CANscious by making it easy, and keeping it local:
- Encourage, if not demand, lots of outdoor play.
- Buy a bird feeder and position it near a kitchen window (where we seem to be all the time). Learn to spot a few common feeder birds in your region
- Visit a local farm during different seasons (but especially to pick your own fruit).
- Visit a farmer's market - even just to browse. Taste all samples offered, even the onions!
- Visit and feed horses at city stables.
- Go walking/hiking. (Best way to get started is to repeat a fairly simple hike a few times so that everyone feels like they've mastered it and they quiet down.)
- Get to water - ocean, river, lake, pond, stream, puddle!
- Grow something - anything, even grass in a pot.
- Keep it real.
You are the one who can teach your child how to interact with the incredible forces of nature while kindling his/her sensory skills, intuition, and imagination in the process. Go for it! And if you just can't, then go get him/her a mentor family.
No guilt - just make sure you get the child outdoors.