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‘Young minds need to imbibe a culture of sustainable living’

By Rashmi Soota,

Educators should ignite young minds to become more conscious about their choices.

We as educators should lay foundations of being environmentally responsible by helping the children develop values, writes vice-principal Rashmi Soota.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be one of the greatest challenges facing humanity since the dawn of the 21st century. While its physical and mental health impact is evident across the globe, the unanticipated repercussions of the ongoing pandemic on the social and economic milieu has forced us to re-examine our traditional practices and weave in sustainability into our daily life for a better future for ourselves and the generations to come. It, therefore, becomes our responsibility as educators to ignite young minds to become more conscious about their choices and encourage them to imbibe a culture of sustainable living.

Let’s make it a habit
By starting early on, small acts of conservation in everyday lives of children, such as not wasting or turning off the light and water when not in use, become habits and the new way of living as they turn into adults.

Connect with nature
As parents and teachers, it should be our constant endeavor to encourage our children to experience and connect with nature, to understand the significance of maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the environment and how we as humans have a responsibility to protect it from deterioration.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It is important to understand that natural resources are limited and we must be judicious in their use today to ensure that the generations to come can also benefit from them. All of us in India, especially in Delhi and NCR, have been witness to the lack of oxygen supply for our near and dear ones suffering from Covid-19 pandemic. We could soon be heading towards a similar situation with water if we do not stop taking it for granted immediately: conserve water, every drop counts. Small acts like these can go a long way in creating a sustainable future.

  • Adopt rainwater harvesting in societies and schools to conserve water
  • Take a bucket bath instead of a shower to reduce water consumption
  • Use sprinklers instead of hoses to water gardens and plants
  • Use limited water in a bucket to wash cars instead of hoses
  • Reuse the water used for washing vegetables for watering plants
  • Install solar water heaters to save energy
  • Switch to LED bulbs to reduce carbon emissions
  • Unplug your electronic appliances when not in use
  • Stop using single use plastic bags and start using cloth bags
  • Prefer glass and copper bottles instead of plastic bottles
  • Segregate your house waste- use green bins for organic & wet waste, blue bins for plastic, paper & other dry waste and red bins for electronic waste
  • Food residue can be used to turn into compost
  • Recycle and Reuse paper scraps
  • Celebrate festivals with eco-friendly materials
  • Plant saplings to reduce the impact of pollution and ensure a green and clean environment

Children: A catalyst to change
And lastly, we all know that the children bring back whatever they learn at school to everyone at home, eventually leading to a change in attitude in society. It’s clearly visible in the success of the anti-cracker campaigns started by school students all over India a few years ago that has led to a policy change today. This is important for us as educators and parents to lay the foundations of being environmentally responsible by helping the children develop the knowledge, skill and values.

Rashmi Soota is the vice-principal of Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute, Subroto Park. The views expressed are personal.

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