4Rs Tips for 5.20.2022 – Help Kids Understand Climate Change and Why It’s Important
But First… An Ask
My application has been accepted to attend the Climate Reality Project leadership training in Las Vegas, June 10th – 13th, 2022. Yay!
Now I need to come up with the funds to attend. While I have airline credits (I know, not a sustainable way to travel but I will fly non-stop to reduce emissions), I don’t have the funds for hotel, meals, and ground transportation. I have started a GoFundMe page to ask for donations. Any amount will help me reach my goal and go to the training. Thank you!
Educating Kids is Our First Defense to a Cleaner Future
Let’s admit it, for the most part, people in developed countries live pretty comfortably. We have a lot of conveniences. These habits create a lot of waste and we accidentally teach our children these habits because, honestly, we learned them from our parents. Our children will build good habits if we do. Be open to learning alongside them and teach them that by working together we can make this a better world.
If we want our kids to build planet-friendly habits
we have to show them how
Click here if you’re new to this blog and want to know what it’s all about.
If you have young children 7 and under… they are hungry to learn and easy to teach.
- Find fun activities that teach kids at a young age that we are all part of the living planet and we need to learn to live in harmony with the earth.
- To get started with some basics, check out Fun Activities to Teach Your Kids Sustainability This Summer.
- Have them carry reusable food containers for lunch and to events.
- Let them pick a cool lunch pail they will like and use.
- Tell them this is a great way for them to control waste and fight climate change.
- The best part, remembering to bring home their lunch pail or food containers is the first step in learning responsibility. (Yes, they’re growing up now.)
- Talk to them about why you do eco-friendly things in the home, like turning out lights, unplugging unused appliances and chargers, and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. If you can’t answer their questions as to why we need to do this, look it up with them. It’s a fun family learning activity.
- Have them come up with ideas on ways to save water and energy in your home.
It boils down to us being responsible for the planet and teaching kids at a young age how to do the same.
Kids age 7 and up… begin to read on their own and have started to learn about the climate crisis. Instead of letting them get freaked out on their own, wouldn’t it be good to talk with them about their feelings and empower them to understand and act on those feelings?
- Talk to your kids. They’ve likely learned about climate change in school. Ask them about what they’ve learned. Asking questions is the best way to engage our children and gauge what they think and feel.
- Ask your kid’s school if they have recycling and if they teach kids how to do it.
- Help your school build a recycling program and teach the 3Rs to students. The US EPA has this guide: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Resources for Students and Educators. Share it with educators and other parents. Start small, think big.
- Encourage your kids to work with you to support or launch environmental programs in their schools.
- Check out this resource of easy experiments and climate lessons: 15 Meaningful and Hands-On Climate Change Activities For Kids: How to teach about our changing planet.
- MAKE IT FUN! Kids don’t want to work, they want to play. Use that to help them learn about caring for Mother Earth.
- Check out Captain Polo – a series of graphic novels about an adventurous polar bear who travels the world learning about climate change and what we can do about it. Your kids will love him. There’s also a Captain Polo board game: The Official Captain Polo Climate Change Board Game. The author, Alan J. Hesse, has a YouTube channel where you can find more resources.
- NASA has this fun Climate Kids page that can help young kids understand climate change.
- The Climate Institute provides a Climate Games page with a variety of activities for kids of all ages.
- Turn older kids onto climate video games. Check out this article: Leveling Up: How Video Games Are Inspiring A New Wave of Activism.
- Have them go with you to the website of your recycling service and review the acceptable items that go in your recycling bin. You’ll likely learn something, too.
Encourage your kids to be part of the change needed. Young people are full of ideas and innovations. Share this story with your kids on how Young Innovators Challenge The Future.
Connect Kids With Nature So They Learn to Appreciate Mother Earth
Learning to appreciate Mother Earth, how cool she is, and all the beauty she provides will teach our kids to care for her. Set aside time to connect you, your kids, and the earth. If you don’t have access to a nature park or forest, find online options for learning about nature and the other creatures that live on the planet.
- Teach kids about sea life so they learn to appreciate how important they are to our lives. This cool. May 20th is Endangered Species Day. Take and share this fun quiz to learn all about endangered species. It’s short, five-question, and very educational.
- Plan nature days with your kids. Look up the website of a local nature park or national forest. I’ve never seen one that doesn’t have a kid page. These are usually loaded with things you and your kids can learn about the natural area and its inhabitants.
- Look for tree planting opportunities in your community.
- Encourage them to garden with you. If you have a garden project, I’m sure you will appreciate the help and your kids could learn a lot.
Climate Anxiety is a Real Thing for Our Youth
As our youth get into their teen years they start to see the world and the realities of climate change.
A recent study involving 10,000 young people age 16-25 found that 75% fear the future due to climate change, and almost half reported climate anxiety affected their daily lives. I read that over half of young adults are reluctant to have children considering what the future holds for life on this planet. That’s not good.
The young people of our world know what the next decade will bring and they’re fighting to keep it from being as bad as scientist have told us it will be if we keep doing what we’re doing.
Encourage your teens to find an organization they want to get involved with and be part of the change we all know we need.
- The Sunrise Movement is a youth run activist organization fighting corporations and the fossil fuel industry.
- Earth Uprising is an organization of youth activist helping us stay informed and fighting for climate justice.
- Get social with your kids – there are so many resources for you and your kids to learn and get engaged on climate.
- Follow Inconvenient Youth on InstaGram
- Have them look up some of these orginazation on their favorites socials.
- Watch documentaries on climate change with them.
- I recently watch Youth V Gov on Netflix. It was inspiring and sad. I was excited to see the extent that young people are going to save their future. They have the vision we all need.
- Watch An Inconvenient Truth with you teenagers. I’m just saying.
In my post on April 8th about Climate Overwhelm, I talked about our best defense when climate anxiety sets in is to take action. This applies to our kids, too.
Why It’s Important – Their Future Depends On It
Our kids are smart. Keep them involved in climate friendly activities and environmental programs. They’ll thank you for it one day.
Help kids feel better prepared for the future. Help them imagine that things can get better, not worse. This can only happen through action.
Ways You Can Make A Difference This Year
Check out these 52 ways to celebrate our earth and make a difference from Earth Day.org
Do something fun this spring, sign-up for a Clean-Up Event. They’re not just for Earth Day! Check the map and search by the dates you have available. Then save the link and look for ongoing ways to help clean up your community. You may find a local organization you want to join and support.
Do you like surveys and quizzes? Try some of these EarthDay.org quizzes to test your Climate Change knowledge.
With Much Gratitude
That’s it for this week. If you like this post, please forward it to every earth-friendly human you know.
I hope, with your help, to make it to Las Vegas in June and learn more about how to fight for our planet. Please share this post and visit my GoFundMe page to help me get there.
Drop me a line anytime if you have questions or comments. I love hearing from you.
Thank you for reading these tips and subscribing. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part. Remember, every little bit helps.
You got this!