By Ofer Rimon – Netafim C.S.R Manager
If something is sustainable it should last eternally. To sustain something is to keep and support it for the future.
Sustainable living is living in a way in which we can continue to do so, as if we are going to live forever. Currently, if everyone in the world lived like the average European we would need three planet earths!
To support and sustain our world we need to keep it as healthy as possible by protecting and sustaining wildlife, plants, ecosystems and habitats because all these things are connected and they each need each other for support. After all, animals wouldn’t survive without the right habitat, and a habitat wouldn’t be the same without the animals!
Here’s a great rule to help understand what sustainability is about – ‘Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do.’
Most children are unaware of the role they play in society. For kids, life revolves around a small radius that includes their home, family, friends, and school. They may not always understand how their actions and choices can affect the world around them. From a young age, children should be taught and guided by their parents, older siblings, and teachers about the many opportunities they have to help out in their own small ways. With the right information, children will find it educational and even fun to go green.
Why Teach Children about Sustainability?
The concept of going green can create many opportunities for parents and educators to bond with kids in the pursuit of a common goal. It can help build trust and good communication, and enhance a child’s creativity and self-confidence.
Even from the time they are infants, children already become consumers. As they grow older, their needs and wants change, which gives them plenty of opportunities to go green once they choose products and services that offer sustainable solutions.
Kids will learn how products and services are produced and which ones provide a more environmentally friendly option. From a young age, children will be able to learn how to choose sustainable products and the importance of this choice. This is critical since when they get older, they too will have the same power as consumers like their parents.
As part of the Netafim Corporate Responsibility program presenting the ‘Sustainability Education’ vision, a user friendly training kit has been developed designed specifically for kindergarten and elementary school students.
The kit comprises:
- Presentation on sustainability, illustrating how wise use of Netafim products can contribute to protection and conservation of natural resources for future generations.
- A demonstration kit of an irrigation system that stays in the classroom.
Volunteer trainers (all Netafim employees) use the Netafim’s Sustainability Training kit for the education of school children, including classes where their own children study. Each session is designed to take between 45 to 60 minutes and involves simple practical knowledge as well as plenty of ‘hands on’ activity where the kids help build the kit, plant out flowers and then operate the watering system. The kit then stays with the class and the kids are responsible for operating it on an ongoing basis, together with their teacher, who has the opportunity to further develop the ideas of sustainability in the young mind.
The volunteering activity not only contributes to the education of future generations but also strengthens volunteers’ identification with the company spirit and core activity and their sense of belonging.
Good habits create better citizens and since young children today will take over once the adults pass on, they should be aware of the little green changes they can make to create a sustainable environment for themselves and their future children.