Encouraging children to care for the environment
It is vital for us to encourage children to be more environmentally aware, as it is just as impactful for them to understand this topic as it is for us. The attitude they have towards looking after the environment will also influence their friends. As children are indeed the next generation, it is good for them to develop an understanding about sustainability and care for the environment from a young age.
We could also explain to children that caring for the environment is a way to gain rewards and appreciate what Allah has given us, as this is what our religion teaches us to do. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth…” (Qur’an 6:165)
Children learn more effectively when they are given clear examples and explanations, so we could try to show them the effects of being neglectful about the environment. For instance, when we teach them about the significance of recycling, we could show them the detrimental effects that the huge amount of non-recycled waste is having on the environment.
We could also show them the effect that excess waste has on nature and animals. It is part of our responsibility as believers to also be considerate towards animals. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you.” (Qur’an 6:38)
In addition, we could explain to children the advantages of taking action to look after the environment. When children see that their contribution can really have an influence on working towards this important cause, it will further motivate them to continue their efforts.
Researching with our children for ideas about changes we could make to look after the environment could help motivate our children and make them feel more involved.
For example, we could discuss the idea of walking or cycling to places instead of driving a car and how that helps the environment. We could try to help our children find ways of safely reusing items in our homes so that we are not creating too much waste. Furthermore, we could explain to them why reusable items are better for the environment, such as reusable bottles and straws.
It is important to teach children about being grateful for what Allah has given us. Throwing things away unnecessarily is part of ingratitude, so this is something we could collaboratively avoid with our children. We read about the significance of avoiding wastefulness:
“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Qur’an 6:141)
It is also crucial to note and remind our children that when we do something positive for the environment, we are also setting an example for others. As a result, not only will we be building on our good deeds, but we will also be helping others to do good too.