In this rapidly changing world, where climate talks are taking centrestage, children that are growing up feeling closer to the nature are said to be happier and more environment-conscious than those that are not, a study has revealed.
The study, conducted by a Mexican research team on nearly 300 children, has found a link between ecological awareness and happiness. Those children that feel more connected to nature are naturally more aware and conscious about sustainability, than those that suffer from ‘nature deficit disorder’. As such, the former group feels happier and more positive about bringing about a change, engaging in practices like recycling.
Children are believed to be the custodians of the future. What we leave out in the world today, is what they will take forward and utilise tomorrow. As such, it is important to feed them good ideas and keep them closer to the environment. The study researchers insist that parents and teachers encourage more children to get out and explore the wild, while thinking about ideas as to how to better protect the planet.
The study also reveals that nature deficit disorder could lead to the destruction of the environment and the planet, because when children do not bond with nature and everything that it provides, they have no desire to protect it either.
For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the team surveyed children between the ages of nine and 12 in Mexico. The participants were given a scale to find their connection to nature and their happiness. It was found that those children that understood the environment better, were likely to indulge in protective measures like sustainable practices; they were also generally more positive and happy.
The study also reaffirms the fact that sustainable living paves way for ‘sustainable happiness’.
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