With a population that increases every minute, the food supply is hardly sufficient to meet the rising demand. In order to increase the yield to meet the supply, farmers are resorting to using dangerously high amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Consequently, quantity comes at the cost of quality.
With the growing need of the hour for healthier and mindful sustainable choices towards better living, it is important to teach the younger generation - the future leaders - how to grow their own food, how to live in an eco-habitat community responsibly along with other co-dwellers in nature.
How to nurture young eco-kids
Bringing up kids in communities surrounded by green spaces and vast biodiversity helps kids stay connected to nature. They learn the interactions and interdependence between them and other flora and fauna co-existing with them in the eco-habitat. Living in eco-communities should be the first essential choice in nurturing young eco-kids.
Growing up in eco-communities, kids naturally fall in love with Mother Nature. They learn to appreciate all the elements of nature- air, water, and earth - leading them on a path that conserves natural resources, choosing sustainable choices to save the environment they love.
Teach them the importance of saving water and food. Inculcate the eco-friendly habits of water harvesting and waste management right from a very young age to make it their lifestyle choice.
Teach kids to grow their own consumables. Have a mini garden. It does not require a lot of space and varieties like coriander, tomato, mustard can be grown in boxes available at home and placed in the balcony or even a window sill.
Teach them the importance of avoiding over the counter chemicals to grow food. Introduce them to vermicomposting, which is recycling of food and kitchen waste which can be used as a manure for your kitchen garden. This also inculcates the sustainable lifestyle choice of waste management in kids.
Ask kids to grow a plant, preferably of greens or vegetables, and ask them to observe the changes the plant undergoes during various time periods. By understanding how long it takes for the plant to turn into a product, they will begin to have a greater appreciation for the food on their plate.
Create a weekly activity with your kids of making a dish together using ingredients from your own kitchen garden. Help them understand the importance of cooking from scratch, and avoiding processed and packaged food.
Make frequent trips to the local farmer’s market. It helps them understand the journey of food from the farms to their plates, the difference between seasonal foods, and ones available all around the year. It helps them stay connected to their food providers, which cannot happen when shopping in a supermarket.
Make frequent visits to the farm. Walk them around the vegetable farms and show them the various farming processes. Visit an animal farm, show them where the dairy products come from. Interactions with the farmers help them understand the time and energy that goes into providing them with timely meals.
By involving the young generation in a communities’ intensive farming, they learn life skills that cannot be learnt from a book like self-reliance, hard work, raising and appreciating food, caring and sharing with their peers. They grow up as kids of Mother nature and they become a part of the solution and not the problem.