For anyone who has children, or has thought about having children, you know that the most important job we can undertake is to be a parent. It is filled with joys, sorrows, frustration, bank breaking, impossible to replace moments. For most of us, we also know it is important to teach our children good morals and values. It is essential that they learn how to be upstanding men and women. But, what does this involve? Is it simply teaching them to obey the law and treat others as we would want to be treated? As my own environmental awareness has grown, I have come to the realization that teaching my children how to be good citizens involves more than teaching them how to obey the law. It needs to encompass not only how to treat others, but how to take care of our planet. This is not something that can be taught by example alone.
So I have come to the conclusion that I have to embrace environmental parenting. I'm not sure exactly what this means yet. At this point, I know it means teaching my kids how to recycle and how to conserve water. The recycling thing they have pretty much gotten down. They don't seem to be doing too badly in the water department although I want them to learn how to collect water. Where our water comes from and how we are damaging our water supplies.
I want them to understand where their food comes from and how important it is to eat food that is not only good for us in nutritional value, but is good for us in how it has been prepared or raised. Where does our energy come from? One day when we have solar power, I want them to understand that it is possible for everyone to generate their own electricity or get it from responsible, natural sources.
Most importantly, I want them to understand that we can live responsibly, have the things that make us comfortable, and still take care of the planet. It may be an impossible dream, but our children depend on us to prepare them for the future. The future is depending on them to make the world a better and healthier place to live.