by Jennifer Dawson, freelance contributor
Exhaust from cars and vehicles is one of the major sources of air pollution with 75% of carbon monoxide emissions in the US collectively caused by motor vehicles (EPA). UNICEF says that nearly one in seven children experience health problems from the effects of air pollution. The air inside a car is more polluted than outdoor air which makes children extremely vulnerable to the side effects of the pollution according to Sir David King in an article for The Guardian. Teaching kids to be aware of how pollution can affect their health is a great initiative. Green camps not only improve overall wellbeing but also enable them to appreciate their environment and instill in them a love & sense of responsibility to care for it.
Pollution and the effect on human development
Outdoor education provides many benefits to children. It enhances school performance, supports child development, creates civic attitudes/behavior and enhances family/community engagement. Green camps can teach children how pollution caused by urban traffic affects daily living and presents cleaner alternatives. For example, accidents on the roads cause congestion that in turn increase pollution levels. Modifying practices and habits help in reducing accidents while the use of green technology can make motoring safer and healthier. The sources of air pollution are explained with alternatives on how to cut down emissions. Walking and cycling can be cited as good activities that reduce carbon footprint and promote healthy habits.
Starting green campaigns at a young age has a greater impact
It’s never too early to introduce young minds to the beauty of green living. Apart from in-classroom and home teaching, sending children to green camps is a fun way to promote environmental awareness. Spending time in nature, understanding the ecology, and demonstrating simple ways to care for the environment are effective methods of raising awareness of sustainable development and regenerative lifestyles. This habit can carry on to adulthood, a trait that will make the planet a better place to live. Camping, in general, has a positive impact on children enabling them to go through different experiences, become sociable, adapt to their environments and be responsible for themselves. The effects of camping are not short-lived and have an impact on adulthood.
Creating environmental awareness among children is not only confined to the classroom and home. By attending green camps, children get a first-hand experience of living in nature and learn different ways they can contribute to preserve the planet. It also shows that their daily behavior has an impact on the environment and pollution levels. It confirms that they have the power to contribute positively to its preservation.