The formation of an environmentally responsible citizen is most effective when started at a young age. It is crucial that we continue to teach children about health, sustainability, and wellbeing while innovating new ways to engage them, with these lessons significantly influencing their understanding and engagement with larger environmental issues. Be SEEDsational will be exploring how interactive EDUtainment™ can impact various aspects of the environment, including oceans, forestry, and animal conservation.
Health and Its Environmental Implications
Children learn about health primarily in the family setting, where good nutrition, physical activity, and mental health habits are nurtured. Further educating children about these components through more engaging methods is not just beneficial for their personal well-being, but also has potential environmental ramifications. For example, by teaching children about the health benefits of a balanced, nutritional diet and the dangers of overconsumption of processed foods, they are indirectly exposed to concepts of sustainable agriculture and food production. This understanding can also touch upon the significance of oceans as a crucial source of nutrition and livelihood, thus laying a foundation for later lessons about overfishing, marine pollution, and climate change. With food production leading to over 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Sustainability Victoria, 2023), along with 30 million tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans (OECD, 2022), it is imperative that we instil lessons that manage and minimise future impacts on our surrounding environment.
Sustainability: From Home to the Globe
The principle of sustainability, when instilled from an early age, can make children realize the value of resources and understand the concept of their finite nature. Simple practices like recycling, composting, water conservation, and energy efficiency, when taught in an Interactive, Edutaining medium, creates a mindset of resourcefulness and respect for the environment. Furthermore, these lessons can extend to understanding the sustainability of forests. By teaching children about the importance of trees for air purification, carbon storage, and as habitats for various species, families can foster an appreciation for forests. With forests helping to absorb and manage 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2015-2017 (Earth.org, 2023) it becomes clear that helping to minimise our destruction, has much wider benefits for general sustainability. This understanding can lead to a deeper exploration of issues like deforestation, illegal logging, and the role of sustainable forestry in mitigating climate change.
Wellbeing and Its Connection to Nature
When children learn to appreciate their own well-being, they are more likely to extend this care to their surroundings. By helping them understand that clean air, access to green spaces, and biodiversity contribute to their mental and physical well-being, families can cultivate a sense of personal connection to environmental issues. For instance, by understanding the concept of animal welfare and biodiversity from a young age, children can learn about the intricate balance of ecosystems. This knowledge can develop empathy and respect for all creatures and can lead to a deeper comprehension of the negative impacts of habitat destruction, illegal hunting, and species extinction.
Implications for Ocean, Forestry, and Animal Conservation
The values of health, sustainability, and well-being, when interconnected with Interactive EDUtainment™ about the environment, can result in a generation of individuals who recognize the importance of environmental conservation. Further education about ocean health can lead to a better understanding of the role of oceans in climate regulation, the importance of marine biodiversity, and the threats of plastic pollution and ocean acidification. This understanding can encourage proactive behaviours like beach clean-ups, responsible seafood consumption, and advocacy for marine protected areas. Education about forests can elucidate the significance of these ecosystems in carbon sequestration, providing habitats for wildlife, and their relevance to indigenous communities.
Knowledge about deforestation's impacts can lead to informed choices about the products they consume, participation in tree planting initiatives, and support for sustainable forest management policies. Likewise, early exposure to the concept of animal welfare and biodiversity can ignite an interest in wildlife conservation. These learnings can result in actions like adopting responsible pet ownership practices, advocating against illegal wildlife trade, and supporting conservation efforts for endangered species, leading to a much broader impact beyond the childhood education that Be SEEDsational provides.
In essence, the education children receive in their formative years can greatly shape their perspectives towards health, well-being, sustainability, and overall environmental conservation. It's through these early experiences that the guardians of our environment are formed. It is therefore crucial that we instil these principles and values to raise a generation ready to face and address the environmental challenges of their time.