Sustainable Saturday - Raising Environmentally Responsible Kids

When I think of being a child I immediately think of be carefree and playing outside! We hope that by the example we are setting our children will be environmentally-conscious kids and someday adults. When we purchased our home we consciously chose somewhere where we can walk places; to the neighbors' house where there are other kids who play outside, to school, to the park and up town. I have previously written about our neighborhood, see my previous post here.

This is an excerpt from an article featured on treehunger

Is creating the next generation of environmental stewards as easy as sending your kids outside to play? Research suggests the answer is yes. A study done several years ago by Louise Chawla tried to understand what factors went into the make-up of people who demonstrated significantly pro-environmental behavior. After doing a psychometric profile of these people Chawla found they all had one characteristic in common: they all spent a significant amount of time outdoors playing in the wild.

Recent research has continued to expand and support the idea that more than any other factor the act of getting children outdoors will powerfully impact their desire to preserve the natural world. As prominent environmental educator David Sobel eloquently stated, "One transcendent experience in nature is worth a thousand nature facts." It turns out that children who have an immersive experience in nature between the ages of 5 and 10 foster a deep love of the environment that they carry with them their entire lives. Aside from significantly increasing the likelihood that they will actively work to preserve the important life-giving aspects of the environment as adults, an engagement with nature has other positive cognitive impacts, from improved performance in school to moral development to a greater involvement and concern for community well-being. A recent study of 300 of the world's most innovative thinkers and leaders showed clear links between childhood immersion in nature and an out-of-the-box creativity and tireless commitment to society.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Originally published by Symhomemom April 2009.

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