Why should you teach your kids permaculture principles? We bring you five great reasons to do so.
Given it’s the next generation who will inherit the planet, it’s paramount that as parents we act as caretakers of our earth and teach our kids the fundamentals when it comes to living sustainably.
Making sure our little people get their hands dirty, explore and understand connections in nature is a crucial way to develop a love of our planet and pass on our permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share.
With this in mind, we bring you five valuable reasons to teach kids permaculture.
1. The way we educate our kids today will determine the society of the future
As our society heads in some pretty scary directions, the way we educate the next generation will have a huge bearing on how effectively we can turn this ship around.
Already we’ve seen some huge changes occurring in childhood experiences of the natural world over the last generation. Kids are now more able to identify characters from Pokemon and Star Wars than they are native animals in their local environment.
2. We’re losing our collective nature smarts
The “eighth intelligence” (naturalist) – our nature smarts, or ability to identify plants, animals and “read” the landscape – is falling away while increasingly regimented assessments of literacy and numeracy are an unbalanced focus of the learning curriculum.
In the adult arena we see this reflected in the defunding of natural sciences like zoology and botany, while the more lucrative and human-centric fields of genetic engineering and microbiology prevail.
3. We’re disconnected from our food systems
The mass exodus from rural living to cities has left kids of more recent generations with no familial link or access to the country, heightening the severance of our minds from our foods origins.
Meanwhile, we see the hyper intellectualisation of our relationship with animals – kids are aware of big picture issues, like terrible factory farming conditions, but this doesn’t mean they have any increased connection to their food.
Similarly, children learn about and are concerned by massive issues like climate change, and yet may often have no strong bond to the environment.
4. Nature heals
The capacity for nature to inspire imagination, wonder, calmness, peace, connection to self and others is now being recognised as a human necessity, and an effective remedy to many maladies of the modern era.
5. If children don’t love nature, they won’t fight for it
You’re unlikely to care for something that you don’t love, so cultivating a passion for nature and caring for the earth in your child from an early age will ensure they take this lesson with them throughout their lives.