Together, we can teach children that a clean environment is really essential for a healthy life. Our actions today affect future generations, and that everyone’s contribution is equally important.
If we all commit to doing our share, the globe will be a far better home for all of us, a safer and healthier place to live. And, whereas this message is simple to understand but difficult to follow for adults, it is the opposite for children. Engaging children in World Environment Day activities can foster good-hearted behaviours that have the potential to alter the world for the better, so let’s get started!
The origins of World Environment Day
Thanks to the United Nations, the tradition of commemorating World Environment Day on June 5th began in 1974. The goal was to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection following countless talks regarding the negative impacts of human meddling in nature.
The concept was officially launched at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, but it took another two years for the holiday to be honoured. The first World Environment Day, themed “Only One Earth,” was held in 1974 in Spokane, Washington.
The holiday evolved into its current form after 1987. Every year, a different host country hosts a World Environment Day event, emphasising a certain topic and activities.
Activities for World Environment Day
There is so much we can do with so little, such as trying out these World Environment Day activities with children of all ages.
Start a gardening project
Did you know that gardening has an impact on the mental health of children, boosts self-esteem and improves mood?
However, gardening is also good for the environment. The trees you help your child plant will reduce CO2 and enhance oxygen, dramatically improving the air quality around you and benefitting both you and your child’s general health.
Take part in a clean-up
Cities and local organisations typically conduct events and calls to action for World Environment Day, including activities aimed at making communities more ecologically friendly. However, you and your children can organise your own call to action. Cleaning your child’s school, a nearby park, or a nearby lake or river is a wonderful way to recognise and celebrate World Environment Day.
Furthermore, children will gain first-hand experience with the repercussions of irresponsible behaviour. They’ll see how rubbish that may simply be placed in the trash does not disintegrate or disappear, but instead pollutes the ecosystem and harms animal life.
Plan a nature field trip
Organising a nature field trip is another worthwhile World Environment Day activity. Taking your child to a nature preserve, hiking to a neighbouring hill, or exploring the local parkland is an excellent approach to teaching them about the value and beauty of nature.
Relax and recharge in the shade of a tree. Enjoy the cool wind while staying out of the sun. Then, ask them to consider how they would feel and whether they would be able to finish their hike if there were no trees nearby. Encourage them to consider the repercussions of deforestation and the immediate impact on our health.
Encourage your child to be an environmental warrior
Finally, our final suggestion for World Environment Day activities is to teach children how to be environmental fighters. While there are numerous methods to become an environmental warrior, a behavioural checklist can help children modify their behaviour and form new habits.
The major purpose of an environmental checklist is to provide children with particular examples of important everyday actions, such as ensuring that all lights are switched off when not in use.
Encourage your child to utilise this checklist for a month or two and discuss their progress every week (if not every day), and they will build good habits! What exactly is the checklist?
Here’s an example, but feel free to add anything else you think could be beneficial.
Checklist of healthy environmental habits
- Before I leave the room/house, I double-check that all of the fan and light switches (those that are not in use) are switched off. yes/no
- I make certain that all taps are closed after use, but I also check to see if others have done so. yes/no
- When I finish a task (for example, cooking), I double-check to make sure I’ve unplugged all the machines that aren’t in use.yes/no
- I try to segregate my rubbish at home, recycle what I can, and never throw rubbish out the car window. yes/no
- I take care to use electricity carefully. For example, when I turn on the air conditioner, I make sure the door is closed to save energy use. yes/no
- I water and take care of the plants in my house and garden. yes/no