Little girls roasting hot dogs over a campfire on grass.

From government, to education, to the private sector and all related fields in the public eye, our success in these industries starts at a young age. The environment is no different.

Here are five things kids often learn growing up that ultimately help the environment.

1. Don’t Leave the Water Running

Using the sink is a privilege, and brushing our teeth can make it easy to forget that this water is a finite resource. You're not supposed to leave the water running, and personal hygiene is just one outlet through which to conserve. Today, we save water at the community level, wherein buildings and utilities are investing in ways to reclaim this critical resource after it’s been used.

2. Save Your Leftovers

Food is precious just like water, and someone was always there to call us on our scraps at the dinner table. Not everyone has access to the food we eat every day, which makes what we didn’t eat so valuable. While we save it for later at home, we can also feed this organic waste back into the Earth by recycling it as fertilizer and powering a wastewater treatment plant.

3. Clear the Table

After we eat, though, we bus our table — a lesson that applies to the health and safety of many things we do when cleaning up after ourselves. Parks and reservations increasingly follow the Leave No Trace rule, which ensures hikers and campers effectively “leave no trace” of their visit when packing up their campsite. Similarly, those who work with hazardous materials know it’s full of bacteria that threaten the environment, and properly disposing of this waste is just as important as it was during its useful life.

4. Turn Lights off When Not in Use

If we’re not in the room, our light had better not be on. Electricity costs the family money, and now we know it uses fuel sources that have a carbon footprint. The more lights we use, the more fuel we’re using. This makes more efficient light and heat so important (as long as we’re still in the room, of course).

5. Never Stop Learning

If it’s one thing we like doing more as we get older, it’s learning new things. Luckily, from preschool to college, we were implored to keep learning in life. As adults, we know there’s value not just in receiving this knowledge, but sharing it with others. Even seemingly distinct fields depend on our willingness to spread their importance — that includes water, wildlife and other aspects of an ecosystem that can be taken for granted on a daily basis.

From all of us at Veolia, a big environmental shout-out to the ones who instill the values our mission of resourcing the world is based on. Learn more about where the world needs our help in the video below.

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