Environmental Super Heroes!
Working in a spring garden.

As April comes to an end, I look back over my time in Howard County classrooms this month and am in awe of how smart these kids are and how eager they are to take care of our planet. I have talked to kids from the first grade all the way up to high school and they all have one thing in common: an adult who is passionate about taking care of our planet. It may be a teacher, a parent, an older sibling, or just a member of the community, but their passion and excitement is contagious! And these kids pick up on that energy. So I asked myself “What more can I do to fan those flames and establish healthy habits for these kids?”, and I came up with these two main things:

Live By Example

First and foremost, kids learn what they see. If they see you recycling regularly, they will do the same. Sorting trash and recyclables will be second nature to them. If they see you pick up litter, they will see it as a normal part of life and pick it up also. If you are passionate about something, they will pick up on that excitement, and they will get excited. On the reverse side of the coin, if you regularly litter or don’t recycle, they will think it is ok and they will do the same thing. Healthy choices and habits start at home. Be an example of what you want your children to be!

Talk About “Why” You Do What You Do

Kids love to know why! When we take the time to explain to them the cause and effects, they listen. My 8 year old granddaughter can rattle all sorts of stuff off and is very quick to correct me if I slip up! Take the time to explain to your child WHY single use plastic is bad in terms your child can understand. If they are young, it may be a simple “if we use too much plastic and then throw it away, it fills up the landfills and never goes away.” If it’s an older child, you can dive deeper into the topic of microplastics and health issues. Keep it age appropriate, but let them ask questions, and try not to say “because”. If you don’t have an answer, look for one together.

Earth Day Every Day!

April may be the official month of Earth Day, but taking care of the environment has to be a lifestyle we live every day. By looking for teaching moments and setting an example for the younger generations, we are building a foundation that will follow these kids their entire lives. A huge THANK YOU to those who take the time to teach our kids, either by formal instruction, or by just being you and showing them what it means to care about the environment. You are making a DIFFERENCE and ensuring our planet is taken care well after we are gone!

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