How to Educate Your Children About Climate Change & their Carbon Footprint
Over the past couple of years, the conversations around climate change have taken a front seat. We are living and seeing the horrific impact that it is having on our natural environment.
Climate change isn’t a conversation to reserve for adults or academics. Today’s young children must understand the severity of things and become an active part of the solution. The thing to remember is that it is their future that is negatively impacted; with heatwaves becoming more deadly and wildfires becoming more rampant, we know that if we cease to act now, it may be too late.
We shouldn’t shy away from telling children what is happening. The truth is helpful & with the information delivered correctly; children can gain a proper perspective of things & can then grow up being planet proud!
Here are some ways to help guide your children to live a more conscious and eco-friendly lifestyle:
Give them hope: The doom and gloom around climate change can be a lot for any child and often doesn’t give them hope that there is a way to work against it. We must remember that a large majority of adults experience eco guilt & eco-anxiety, so imagine how they will feel (those sentiments times 1000).
It is important to make the conversation as real and as pure as can be. We are a part of nature & children need to understand that. Tactfully explain things, be prepared to answer some tough questions but most importantly, stay present. Children need to know about the past but don’t stay stuck there — remind them of the power they have by acting now and looking towards a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.
Teach them and learn with them: Education, education, education — there isn’t a soul on earth that is too young or old to learn something. It isn’t always easy being the teacher of something when perhaps you’re on a journey of learning more too. This is the perfect opportunity to bring your children along in that journey of discovery and enlightenment. There are some amazing resources online that can help you help your children — videos, articles, apps & much more. If you have any groups you can join that could help too, platforms like Reddit, groups like I Recycle could help you connect with other like-minded people.
Put it into practice: Learning is one part, but it is important to become a doer! Remember, most children learn from the example that is set for them. Bring them along in the quest to be more sustainable; you can do things like show them your impact score on the Yayzy app and then collectively write some things down that you can do as a family to reduce your impact. Many of the financial choices that a parent makes also includes things for their children, so why not get them involved! For example, you can use the car less to cut back on fuel consumption or eat more fresh organic food instead of ordering from Deliveroo.
Appreciate nature: Most adults have fond childhood memories from playing in local parks, discovering insects and really getting engrossed in nature — let’s bring that back! Get your children to appreciate what naturally exists on our planet, from the soil to the birds that fly.
Take your children out on mini adventures to the local park or woodlands for bike rides so they can associate nature with joy and lots of fun.
Empower them: Children love getting a bit of responsibility for something; it makes them feel grown-up! So empower your child/ren to own something in the home related to sustainable living, whether that’s ensuring everything is put in the right bin or putting them in charge of looking after the homegrown crop. Whatever you choose to do, it will help them gain a sense of planet pride & from that young age they can start taking matters of sustainability and eco-friendly living more seriously.
Children are the next generation, and this planet is just as much theirs as it is ours. Unfortunately, big corps and governments haven’t been putting the earth first, so humans have adopted some poor habits along the way. We can shake things up if we change the way they think and, most importantly, how they feel about earth.
It is time to act. The time is now, and nobody (especially children) should be left out.