Sustainability & Children

Sustainability & Children

Climate anxiety affects even the youngest amongst of us.

But as parents / carers, our natural instinct is to shield them from things that can harm / scare them, isn't that so?

Let’s talk about the importance of educating our children AKA future adults about the reality of climate crisis and decisions their generation can make to slow its progress... in a light, fun way even!

And by teaching kids about climate you get parents to become more involved with the issue too, that’s a fact!

A recent study done by Reuters found that “parents whose middle-school-age children followed a curriculum that included climate increased their own level of concern by c.23%”.

But how do we teach the next generation about climate in a way that does not inspire fear?

I) Real examples - Kids might ask themselves, ‘How am I supposed to stop that much plastic in the ocean?’ and that’s fair enough, that's a very big question! If they aren’t confident in their ability to make a difference, bring out the facts! For instance, by using a reusable bottle for a year, they’re saving c.217 plastic water bottles from going to landfill. And that’s just one of the many things they can do to reduce plastic pollution!

II) Teach & model reusing stuff / buying 2nd hand - Encourage kids to find an item at home that they no longer use or love that much and have a think about it. Can you repurpose it? If not, can you rehome it? Everything to avoid landfill! The same applies to repairing broken items - they are watching you so act accordingly

III) Gamify! - When I’m out shopping with my boys, I get them to play a game: pick the items with the least amount of packaging. A great way to keep them involved in the conversation!

IV) Be mindful - Kids who are mindful in their everyday lives, who understand the impact of their actions, will more easily grasp the importance of sustainability. For example, working on a farm teaches about personal responsibility, and the role that nature plays in sustaining our bodies. The same way kids learn by observing what happens when they handle a plant with care or feed a pet.

Now I’d love to hear how you approach sustainability with your kid!