Before we talk about Educating the next generation, we need to educate the Adults

Note: This article starts with a reality check about the Planet, which can be depressing. But it also includes steps we can take to combat these issues. Please read till the end to find out about the solutions. Thank you!

Our Planet is suffering. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, Water scarcity & Pollution is increasing by the second.

But whenever the topic of Environmental conservation comes up, I often hear my peers and elders say one repetitive statement: “We need to educate the next generation about our Planet. It is so important.”

I watch videos related to Environmental conservation almost every day, and I’m afraid I have to disagree with their statement.

Educating a child shouldn’t be the focus right now. We need to start educating the adults.

Yes. Adults like you and Me.

Kids are (already) Smart:

Despite not being taught about environmental issues at home, I have time and again come across young kids who have had much more knowledge about the topic than my peers.

I have heard 13 and 14-year-olds give passionate speeches about biodiversity, conservation, and climate change. Yet, most people of my age (and above) are comfortably shutting their eyes and acting like nothing is happening.

Adults have the Money:

Kids do not have the financial strength to influence significant decisions (yet).

Adults do.

And my point here is not to choose between educating an adult or a child but to pinpoint that educating an adult about the reality of our environment is crucial right now. The people working in jobs, raising a family, building their homes, buying cars, spending Money to consume commodities create the most impact on the Planet, not the kids.

And the more the Money an adult owns, the more they need to be educated about the environmental impacts of over-consumption and income inequality.

Kids learn from the Adults:

Young children learn from their parents. If parents are not aware or concerned about the Environmental issues happening in the world, what can you expect from a child?

Most adults I know, aren’t aware about the seriousness of:

  • The extent of biodiversity loss happening right now
  • The harm caused due to over-consumption
  • Bleaching of coral reefs
  • Effects of climate change
  • Effects of the plastic pollution
  • Effects of over-fishing/livestock industry, and so much more.

Additionally, we have been devouring the resources as if they were an infinite supply, putting stress in an already over-stressed system.

If we as adults can’t control our consumerism, what can we teach the children?

How can Educating a child help if their future looks bleak:

I recently watched a documentary where a climate scientist broke into tears as he described the Planet’s condition. The saddest part was, scientists have been talking about climate change for 30+ years, and we have made little to no changes in the way we live.

In fact, we now produce more, over-consume, send more fertilizers into water bodies causing Eutrophication, waste food, waste water, cut down millions of acres of forests every year, buy more cars and build bigger houses.

At this rate, will the next generation even have a future?

By 2050, the world population is expected to be 9.8 billion, and the Planet’s health will deteriorate further.

Things won’t change unless we adults consciously start educating ourselves and make positive changes!

What can we do?

As bad as the situation is, we still have time and hope to create a change for the next generation. Young, innocent kids do not deserve to take over a battered, tired planet. They deserve better!

Here are a few simple (and some difficult) steps you can take to create a change:

#1 Educate yourselves about Environmental issues such as deforestation, ocean acidification, climate change, biodiversity loss, coral reef bleaching, etc. The more you know, the more you will change your lifestyles to reduce your consumption. Some of the best sources of knowledge are documentaries. You can find great ones on Netflix.

#2 Talk about environmental issues during parties, brunches, and family gatherings. Spread the word so that people are motivated to do the right thing (make saving the world, fun!).

#3 Be in conversation with the local government to develop environment-friendly policies (such as reducing plastic waste, mandatory composting, water conservation, etc.).

#4 Question the Industries that are causing pollution and environmental degradation.

#5 This might be counter-intuitive to the entire article, but once educated, teach your children about environment-related topics so that they can be prepared for their future.

Our beautiful Planet is forgiving. But there is only so much she can take.

It has lived through 5 mass extinctions and survived. But we are on the verge of the 6th mass extinction, called the Holocene extinction (caused due to human activity).

If we take the proper steps at the right time, the earth will understand.

But, we have to commit. We have to step-up.

So, are you ready to commit to handing over a beautiful, green, luscious planet to the future generation?

If so, it’s time for us to go back to our books.

Check out my YouTube channel for inspiring videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBfUxVSxC0koxGSkwzVRYzQ

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