By Dr. mukesh kwatra founder of Smiling Tree
Majority of environmental degradation arises from lack of education. We have to make sure our children are aware of the various environmental problems around them so that they can find solutions and create a better world.
Children are the future, and that is precisely the reason why they need to be educated at a tender age so that they grow up to lead a sustainable and eco-friendly life.
There should be a compulsory Environment class in the curriculum in schools primary level onwards, with interesting kids friendly garden activities to involve them and evolve them. In fact at junior levels, a monthly activity should be planned with parents as accomplices. The idea is to make it a family endeavor. If the child carries forward what he does at school, at home too, then that would surely make a strong foundation towards sustainable development.
The entire world stands up to notice if a child takes charge and leads from the front. Take the example of Greta Thunberg, who has drawn the attention of whole world towards climate change, pollution and the consequent problems created. She forced the adults to question themselves and think about their methods and attitude towards handling these environmental problems. If one child can do this then imagine if majority of children get awareness about the environment then how effective and huge change they can bring about.
Education is the basis of everything, this is the major reason why children need to be educated at a very early age so that they grow up with the idea to protect and preserve the environment and sustainability.
Environmental education helps us in connecting to the world around us and gives us knowledge and awareness about the situation and explores new methods to improve it. People can explore all the environment-related problems and can work out for ways of solving them. Philippines have introduced a new law under which all students in their life from elementary school to college have to plant 10 trees in order to graduate. This type of initiative helps students as well as parents to understand the importance of increasing forestation and other green solutions.
Environmental Education has many benefits; some of them are listed below:-
1. Diversity of India requires a diverse solution:-
India is a diverse country in terms of geography, climate, fauna and flora. Every location in India needs a different kind of solution, so it is very important to have an environmental education location-specific. Whether we bring nature to the classroom or take classroom to nature, 7it will connect students more with mother earth. Education in school can help children to understand their area/ location better and find a solution for it. Such as Ladakh and Rajasthan both have water problems during summer but both need a different approach for solving that problem.
2. It can save our planet:-
We have only one earth, and only earth has all the resources, climate, and geography which can sustain and develop life. Environmental education will help students to find sustainable solutions, as well as promote green culture.
3. Improve health:-
Pollution is affecting both mental and physical health. It can improve if we live more in contact with nature. This type of education needs to go outside the four concrete walls and to be amidst nature. Students, especially today’s students, who are so much carried away by gadgets around them, will have at least some time to be outdoors, experience serenity and experience the healing powers of nature.
4. Increase the use of renewable sources of Energy:-
Environmental education creates awareness about renewable sources of energy and makes people understand the need and importance of renewable energy. The use of renewable sources such as solar energy, wind energy etc which is a good and non-pollutant source of energy is encouraged by educating the young kids and this knowledge is imperative in our fight against global warming.