Five Ways to Talk to Kids About Climate Change (and Have Fun Too)

Yves here. While I know that teaching children about climate change is important and dificult, this post’s framing bothers my inner curmudgeon. I’ve never been big on fun and games, particularly in  learning. On top of that, activities that children were supposed to enjoy (art class!) were usually the things I despised (I saw art class as pointless makework and that most of the kids, especially yours truly, would never be good at it).

Childrearing approaches are not static over time. For instance:

The modern Western conception of childhood is historically and culturally specific. Philippe Ariès (1962) was one of the first to suggest that childhood is a modern discovery. He argued that in medieval times children, once past infancy, were regarded as miniature adults; they dressed like adults and shared adult’s work and leisure. Children were not assumed to have needs distinct from those of adults, nor were they shielded from any aspects of adult life. Knowledge of sexual relations was not considered harmful to them and public executions were a spectacle attended by people of all ages.

Nevertheless, people in the medieval era recognized that, children clearly were not as developed intellectually and physically as adults.

Despite my quibble with the framing, parents clearly have a difficult task in discussing climate change and environmental crises with their children and helping them find ways to respond.

By Lucy Goodchild van Hilten,  a writing fellow for Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute. She  has served as assistant editor of Microbiology Today. Find her online at telllucy.com and follow her on Twitter @LucyGoodchild. Originally published at Yes! Magazine

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a final call to keep the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels. Doing so will require “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

When the Trump administration downplays climate change across the country, it puts everyone at risk but especially children who will have to live with the consequences of inaction.

“Every day we see more evidence that this administration is actively working against the health and safety of the most vulnerable Americans—our children,” said Ken Cook, the president of Environmental Working Group, an environmental health nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C., in October. “Tragically, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the Trump administration is waging a war on children.”

Yet no matter how many times world leaders sit at a table to fix the problem, we can’t seem to get anywhere. The grown-ups are failing, and it’s the kids who are holding us to account.

Around the world, children are taking action—they’re going on strike from school, calling on governments to do something, and filing lawsuits. They are willing to be bold in the face of indifference, and to shout louder than today’s failing leaders.

We need to listen. And we need to hold their hands and do something, together. As grown-ups—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, doctors, and friends—we can help by talking to kids about climate change and empowering them to be a part of the solution.

But that’s not as easy as it sounds. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time following my 3-year-old son around and switching things off. I tried something new the other day: “It’s bad for the planet when you switch things on that you don’t need,” I said. He stopped and looked at me for a moment, then switched off the light and continued playing.

A small victory. This felt like the start of something we’ll need to continue talking about for many years.

What’s clear to me now is that there won’t be a single moment when we need to have “the talk” about climate change. Instead, climate change needs to be something that’s part of our everyday conversations and actions. It needs to be fun and engaging, solutions-focused, and fact-based. And, above all, it needs to start now. Here are five techniques that can help.

Turn It into a Story

Kids love stories. They can be a great way to get a complex message across. But don’t panic: There are loads of great climate change stories out there already, and they’re great conversation starters.

According to Megan Herbert, Amsterdam-based children’s book author, storytelling is the first of a three-step process toward action. “The theory is that you can entertain children and open up their empathy,” she told me. “A well-told story will get the audience to empathize with its characters and feel their emotions.” Storytelling leads children to the next steps—getting curious and taking action.

Herbert did extensive research into the psychology of climate communication with young people when she was working on her book The Tantrum That Saved the World with fellow parent Michael Mann, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

Their book is an example of storytelling that can educate and inspire children. It follows Sophia, who is minding her own business when a polar bear turns up needing somewhere to stay, followed by a family whose home has been flooded, a swarm of bees, a tiger, and more climate refugees. The story shows that there are solutions and demonstrates practical ways to help as Sophia takes action by shouting loudly and rallying people. And it includes information about each character—and the science behind climate change.

There are lots of popular kids’ books that use these storytelling tools to tackle environmental problems. Here are five to try:

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk by Jan Thornhill
  • The Problem of the Hot World by Pam Bonsper
  • The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
  • The Tantrum That Saved the World by Megan Herbert and Michael Mann

Build Up the Facts

As a science writer and general science enthusiast, I think it’s important that we’re honest with kids about climate change. But that doesn’t mean they need to see the whole picture right away.

I asked people in a Facebook group called Sustainable Community of Amsterdam how they talked to children about climate change. Many said they first introduced their young kids to how nature works: How plants use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, why water is important, why we need to look after animals.

Dina DeHart, the group’s manager, has a 6-year-old. As a parent, she focuses on connection to nature and consequences, and the climate change part will come later.

“We do frequent cleanups on our walks to keep the plants and animals safe,” she wrote in a thread. “We are also mindful about switching off lights in our home, water consumption, etc. I think it’s important to work on … empathy, compassion and good environmental etiquette in preparation for that next step.”

While we need to start small, we still need to be honest and avoid conveying “false optimism,” said Mann, coauthor of Tantrum. “We have to convey the gravity of the situation. … [F]ortunately what is true is that an objective assessment of the science does support the message that the threat is dire, and immediate, and the urgency is great, but there is still a path forward where we can prevent catastrophic climate change,” he told the International Business Times. “Now, we have to avoid being too Pollyannaish, and being unobjectively Pollyannaish.”

Tell the Truth — but in Manageable Pieces

We have to tell the truth, but that means we’ll inevitably reach a point at which the story gets scary. That used to worry me: Climate change is a huge and terrifying topic for adults—just imagine what it could do to children. We’re already seeing cases of climate anxiety on the rise: People feel panicked and paralyzed because of their overwhelming sense of responsibility and fear, with no easy way to personally fix the situation.

In the 2007 report “Children’s Fears, Hopes and Heroes: Modern Childhood in Australia,” a team of researchers from the Australian Childhood Foundation and Monash University concluded that children are extremely concerned about the state of the planet. Of the 600 children ages 10 to 14 they surveyed, 44 percent were worried about the future impact of climate change. In fact, they found that a quarter of children “are so troubled about the state of the world that they honestly believe it will come to an end before they get older.”

It’s important, then, that we don’t overwhelm kids in our conversations about climate change. In her research on the psychology of climate communication, Herbert noted: “If they see an image of a flood or a fire, scary climate change results, they don’t have the ability to process that with a world view; they look at it and ask when the flood is going to come to their house.

“The key is to break it down into smaller stories—let them know it’s all happening in different places and it’s all connected. And show them there’s something they can do about it.”

Help Kids Take Action

However we present it, there’s no getting around the facts: Climate change is deadly serious. While the latest IPCC report highlights the need for urgent, drastic action at an international level, it also puts the onus on the individual: There are things we can—and must—do now to make a difference. And that gives us a great opportunity to make the climate change conversation one of action.

This gives us a great way to talk to kids about the issues: Focus on the things we can do every day to make a difference, like eating less meat and dairy and more seasonal food; throwing less away; walking or cycling short distances; and hanging clothes out to dry.

Or you can go a step further and help children take action. National Geographic provides resources on how to help children write to politicians and other leaders or start a petition.

“You can’t give a child a problem and say [in] the end there’s no solution,” Herbert explained. “You have to give them something actionable, something tangible, so they feel empowered.”

Climate-friendly behavior has been the default since she was young, and it’s something she is already passing on to her 4-year-old son. “We’re doing what we can,” Herbert said. “We take our produce bags to the market; we talk about what’s in season. My son is super-aware without being stressed about it. The power is in your own household—making positive actions normal and explaining why it’s important.”

Make It Fun

Taking action doesn’t need to be serious; in fact, making it fun will help kids engage with the topic. Yet we’re still using the same tired old messages.

“The problem is the way we educate kids hasn’t changed over the last 50 years,” said parent and entrepreneur Andriy Shmyhelskyy, who lives in the Netherlands. “We still tell them the same thing: ‘Turn off the lights because A) I say so and B) we need to save money.’ It doesn’t work.”

Shmyhelskyy is taking a more playful approach to climate change action with a product he recently launched. Hyko is a polar bear nightlight with a climate-conscious message that he designed to let kids monitor energy use, and he uses it with his own daughter.

“My daughter is 3 years old, and I’m already telling her why we need to turn things off,” he said.

“I believe that actually we can make it more playful for kids, but also for the parents sharing the message. After reading a story or playing a game, kids are more engaged because they want to be part of something.”

What started out as a smart meter to show kids the real-time impact of using different appliances has become a nightlight that teaches them about energy. It comes with a whole load of related stuff: Kids can play games, solve quizzes, and learn about electricity and smart energy use.

Here are a few fun tools from NASA and National Geographic to help make climate action a part of kids’ everyday lives:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

42 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    Showing my cynical nature here, but if you really want to do the kids a favour, then tell them “Don’t trust anyone over 50”. I would call that actionable, tangible and empowering and kids can be tougher than we think. Tell them that these people are the most resistant to the idea of climate change, that they get to decide if we act against climate change or just ignore it and pretend that it does not exist, and that they will be dead before the bill really comes due from climate change. Yeah, yeah – I know that that is not fair but so what. These kids are going to be the adults of the future that will have to deal with the catastrophic consequences of our collective inaction. Many of them will be the climate refugees of the future and I am not just talking about third world countries here. They will not look back kindly on those who sold out their future by refusing to look at what was staring them in their faces but they will be long gone.

    Reply
    1. Shonde

      “who sold out their future by refusing to look at what was staring them in their faces but they will be long gone”
      Please, no more blanket statements regarding us oldsters. Many of us did what we could. Back in the 70’s a friend and I became obsessed with earth bermed/passive solar homes and my friend in fact still lives in one. In the 80’s I remember investigating solar hot water systems (could not afford one) and lobbied my congressman (my name was known then) for solar research rather than developing Alaska’s oil and building more pipelines. We did what we could while the focus of the country changed totally to growth while we despaired.
      When I read the links and articles on NC, I am always thinking about what the effect on climate change will be from whatever is being discussed. I suggest that become the focus of everyone reading NC. Give me hope that we finally are repulsed by that energy sucking sound I hear every time some new “growth” is being discussed.

      Reply
    2. The Geege

      Encouraging children to blame or mistrust another demographic is the last thing they need. We already have too many people who think that outrage and finger pointing is somehow helpful. It’s not. Blame only serves to divide us and singling out the bad people is the first stage of bigotry. Focus on positive action, not negative scapegoats.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      James Hansen is over 50. So is Bruce Schneider. I suspect some other climatologists are over 50 too.

      Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      For the record, 50 disappeared long ago in my rear vision mirror. This is not an inter-generational thing but the acknowledgment of the fact that it it tends to be those in this age group that has actual political power. If you want to push it and as an example, is it not true that those who run the democratic party are in their seventies – cough*Pelosi*cough – and eighties? Do you seriously think that people in that age group really care about the younger generations? It is more a case of “Après moi, le déluge” – so long as I keep my power and keep making my millions. Same for the republicans and same for a lot of countries.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        It’s not about age. They are already doing the best to select for their carbon copies (in every sense of the word) among the younger generations.

        Reply
  2. ChristopherJ

    They already get it and are our best hope.
    The recent strikes they have engaged in have the media and the elites flummoxed. If it were us, the usual right wing plays and banning of protesting, and force, would be the play book. Kids. You can’t do that, much harder.

    Reply
    1. aletheia33

      thank you christopher j.

      some parents may be surprised when their children start to insist on striking from school to demand climate action every friday afternoon.

      last week in my small town we had a sizable bunch of kids of all ages, through high school, come out for the first time, for the big march 15 global school strike event.

      an estimated 1.4 million struck in that event around the world.

      the kids who came out to join us sang, jumped around, were generally boisterous and loud and sign-waving, and were obviously having a really fun time together while seriously standing up to express their alarm about their future and their demand for massive measures to meet the emergency.

      doing the right stuff for the environment in one’s personal/family realm, it is now being widely acknowledged in the environmental movement, could never be enough, however right it may feel with one’s conscience.

      unprecedented participation in the public realm is required if humans and the ecology of the planet are to survive.
      parents and grandparents can take time off from their usual activities on friday afternoons to help and support the young ones in their families to leave school to get to and from and join in strike actions. the school strike for the climate welcomes all adults, parents, and elders to join in.

      the next big event will be april 12.

      greta thunberg’s tweets provide updates on the movement worldwide.

      Reply
    2. rd

      I was going to make the same comment, that it is the kids that are having the uncomfortable conversation with the parents, not the other way around.

      Reply
  3. Svante Arrhenius

    It’s all an adventure after all, a teaching moment through example? Sit in your Q7 or Chinese Volvo amidst teeming hordes of white-flight suburbanites just grooving on the superbloom, pointing out all the lurid, resinous foilage enshrousing PG&E transformers and powerlines. Then flee your desert home, via autonomous jetliner, as flames envelope secluded subdivisions; perhaps to a tropical island paradise, populated by smiling, jovial, obsequious folks crystal clear turquoise surf in quaint banana republics, hardworking help reasonably priced. Less affluent parents can fire up their RAM fulla tykes for a trip through flaring well-pads, pointing out busy rights-of-way bringing us American gas and liquids to power our constantly running air-conditioners and plastic Nestle & Fiji Water bottles. Miles and miles of identical BT Maize, stacked trait soya, cloned rBGH fed Steer and massive CAFO keeping us fat and sassy. Kids can learn all about how our democracy guards their freedoms from deluded radicals, foreign propaganda and crazed eco-terroristsn how our media watchdogs, law enforcement and glorious armed forces ensure our American lifestyle, the envy of all.

    Reply
    1. eg

      This reminds me of an Earle Birney poem from the 70s, “What’s so big about green?”

      Unfortunately I cannot find it anywhere online to link for you

      :(

      But I enjoyed the lyricism of your post all the same, thanks

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        Why, thank you. Now, watch Lambert remove it? I was in the most god-awful grocery store on Manhattan Island (and using Google’s Spell-checker; so kindly forgive the syntax, useage errors & typos).

        Reply
    2. Dan

      This is brilliant. It helps me laugh to keep from crying. Or committing suicide.

      Rather than skipping school once or twice a year, how about abandoning the indoctrination mills entirely. The entire system is designed to continue the status quo. Continued growth, careerism, coerced competition, hyper individualism amidst a faux cooperative framework.

      Reading, writing, some basic math skills. That’s all that’s necessary. In fact, the written word may well be a regression as opposed to an advance in human well-being, as it was the beginning of the mediated, as opposed to the direct, experience of life.

      The history is BS, the science is largely corrupt and non-holistic, the geography consists of angry lines marking the latest nation-states and their affiliated components, formed and reformed ad nauseam by various groups of gangsters down through the ages.

      I could go on…

      https://unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/for-america-to-live-europe-must-die/#more-605

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        I seem to work with folks ~1/3rd my age, many of them “forever war” veterans who can’t believe I’d learned of clathrates percolating out from where the permafrost used to be, circa 1961 (when all the research was non-political Eisenhower era armed forces investigation). We speculate on their kids’ likely equivalents to life epochs I’ve experienced with my Boomer® & GREAT generation pals. It helps pass the time, as we wait to see if Pakistan will launch a mini nuclear winter, or Israel launch first and obviate away our silly concerns? Lush superblooms in kal YphorYa ALWAYS portend firestorms, as transformers, powerlines were left enshrouded. We’d witnessed one family buy up half CA’s water, Nestlé drain aquifers for free until the central valley sunk 30′, drought, pestilence, ever more toxic pesticides; pollinators wiped out by scary monoculture, herbicide resistant patented GE mega farms watered with fracking return and sold by multinational conglomerate after refining, processing with HFCS. The only error in prediction of climate disruption was the timeline. This was all to begin well after we’d be daid. They LIED? Methane fireballs, drought, famine, mass migration, novel pestilence, viscious cycles from market profit-making schemes from what Klein’s since labled disaster capitalism… it’s kinda like a disaster/ horror/ war movie in slow motion. We’ve been conditioned to glaze as reality intrudes.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          “We’ve been conditioned to glaze as reality intrudes.”

          The late Joe Bageant described it as “waltzing at the doomsday ball.”

          Reply
          1. Svante Arrhenius

            Great (hillbilly) minds think alike? It’s been instructive to go back and forth between Manhattan’s UWS and places like Birmingham, Pearlington (MS), Baytown (TX), Steelton (PA), Lafayette (LA), Fontana (CA)… even my dear hometown of Pittsburgh (130 nazi klavens surrounding a science fiction polka party). My one employer offered a couple year’s work in Northern Ireland, Nov 9, 2016. I’d been up all night shuffling equities, online. I’d decided to return to Pennsyltucky to work on a very well known $8B private infrastructure project, now delayed for a couple years (not too far from Bageant’s stomping grounds). I’m looking forward to an update from those not using encrypted messaging. But, I’m renewing my passport. You? Empires fall, an’at… karma!

            Reply
  4. SimonGirty

    Made more sense to simply get our tubes tied, back when it became abundantly clear that our 1% were going to use their media, religions, servile political system and piss-poor craven big guys in uniform to prevent anything that Massa might find inconvenient. Then enforce this with 401k, to corrupt the top 20%, so they’d never noticed the ladder being pulled up?

    Reply
  5. Paulitus

    Aren’t today’s kids too busy trying to figure out their sexual identity to worry about this climate stuff?

    Reply
    1. jefemt

      That gender identity phenomena is a byproduct of all the xenoestrogens in our/their systems… give ’em a break. (We/They/he Other). One word, Benjamin– Plastics!

      Gender identity can run in the background as ‘they’ ponder the bleak state of the world into which ‘they’ have been delivered.

      Walk, ride your bike, buy less, in bulk, in your own reuseable containers. Buy your beer in a growler from a local brewery. Divest any ‘savings’ or ‘investments’ from destructive companies and their actions.
      Starve the beast.
      Buy a pv array, convert home heating and cooking to electricity. Grow your own food and ‘put it by’. Share it.

      Stop jetting around the country(ies) and telecommute and meet on the phone or by skype. Stay home and enjoy the community and area you once made a conscious choice to live in.

      Be the change you want to see. Smile and talk to your fellow humans… starting with the kids, and be a shining example— that one can try to live a meaningful, less negatively impactful, in-the-moment-positive life.

      Destroy the over-50 loser stereotype!!

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        True, that. Some things that still hold up: thrift shops, mass transit, sports, food coops, farmer’s markets, elder care, free unpopular concerts & theater, flea markets, coffee shops, libraries, community gardens, yard sales and occasional police riots are GREAT places to figure out gender & sexual preferences… long as you’re unburdened with a stoopit motor vehicle?

        Reply
      2. SimonGirty

        Sole quibble: brew your own ale, beer, mead, cider, perry and sins. Barley, oats… everything’s kinda killed back with defoliants now. Hops are even scarier (Peak ales tested clean recently, but comes in cans). Cider’s kind of a pain to do righteously (sinsemilla cultivation can introduce you to suitors you might wish to avoid), but home brewing picnics are a blast.

        Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The fact that measurable numbers of today’s kids are striking out of worry about this climate stuff is proof that today’s kids are not too busy trying to figure out their sexual identity to worry about this climate stuff.

      Next question.

      Reply
    3. rd

      95% are heterosexual. The issue is whether or not the other 5% get treated as human beings or not. The kids get that.

      This is similar to Muslims in New Zealand. Only 1% of the population there is Muslim but New Zealanders overwhelmingly showed that the Muslims are to be viewed as human beings over the past week after the massacre.

      Reply
  6. Louis Fyne

    #1 on that list should be grow a garden (if you have a yard)

    IMO, mixing climate change lessons and tossing the Kill-a-Watt to a kid before mastering Dr. Seuss is insane and projecting unhealthy adult angst onto a kid.

    Let kids be kids—-with the big caveat of nudging them to experiences where one can flame scientific curiousity and mathematical competency.

    Sprinkled in with a health dose of Depression-era folksy wisdom like: waste not, want not. And a penny saved is a penny earned.

    Reply
    1. JEHR

      Art was the one class I looked forward to; unfortunately, we did not have a teacher who could teach art or do art (he showed us his large paint-by-numbers moose painting) but I persevered and eventually at 60 years of age went to art college. Wonderful experience–art school!

      Reply
    2. Susan the other`

      The trouble with “art class” is that it leaves out the best part – in art class you just experiment with tools but you never get “in the zone” – that only comes when you least expect it.

      Reply
    3. lordkoos

      Me too, at least in junior high, where I had a genius teacher. My high school art teacher was a hack though.

      Reply
  7. Susan the other`

    Well, my inner curmudgeon is having trouble with this too. Climate change is a complicated phenomenon. And making it “fun” probably just makes you disingenuous. Kids are genius BS detectors. One thing we learned recently is the perfect example of how NOT to talk to kids about climate change. Never treat them like DiFi did. Never tell them that they don’t need to bother you about it with all their little opinions because you “know what you are doing.” My god, I’ve never seen anything more disgusting. I hope those kids send her a letter with all due respect and ask her if she knows what she is doing about floods in the Midwest? And next years harvest? We adults haven’t even been given accurate information on climate change. We have been given bullet points – better than nothing – but in depth conversations would be better. In order to find better information that goes beyond narrative-control you have to surf the internet and take your chances. If DiFi “knows what she is doing” shouldn’t she actually be doing something? Saying something? Maybe she could have somebody ghost write a children’s book for adults on the subject. Clearly she can’t communicate. And neither can we if we don’t have the best information. It’s very complicated.

    Reply
  8. TimR

    Why is “within 1.5 degrees of pre industrial levels” the magic number? If scientists admit climate has fluctuated much more than that over the eons?

    And I guess they mean precisely at that slice of time before industry? Because there is no constant pre industrial temperature. Why is that time the best of all possible times?

    Sincere questions, I’m not just being rhetorical.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      “Best” means “best for us”. Our civilization does not live ” over the aeons” . It lives within historical time. The overall climate regime since the Younger Dryas ended is the regime in which agriculture emerged and huge populations built up. 1.5 degrees has not been advanced as a magic number. It has been advanced based on the best thinking of climatologists who have proved the reality-basedness of their theory by predicting ahead-of-time some basic outcomes of carbon skydumping before that carbon skydumping reached present levels . . . and which have occurred as predicted.

      It isn’t about saving “the Earth”. The Earth got along fine before it met us, it’ll get along fine when we’re gone. It is about avoiding the deliberate destruction of the condtions which allowed the emergence of the civilization to which we would wish to remain accustomed.

      Reply
  9. orange cats

    I try not to preach to my class or present my opinions and beliefs as edicts. When the kids waste paper I might say how paper comes from trees that have to be cut down. I have made paper in class to prove it. I try not to get long-winded about anything. Kids are sick of being lectured to by the age of 4.

    I agree that fun and games are overrated as a teaching strategy and are more likely to result in an excess of feeling and adrenaline than learning. Assuming children need games to learn is condescending. Games are for boring, monotonous tasks kids don’t want to do. Children want to learn.

    My guard goes up when articles appear about how to impose complex problems and predicaments created by adults on children.

    Reply
  10. drumlin woodchuckles

    Climate-change should be taught about as part of the basic science curriculum. More complex information can be given as the classes get more complex.

    Ages 3-7 are entirely too early to scare children about things they could not possibly understand.

    About conservation lifestyling: I do some of that now as an interesting challenge, among other things. Since the insulation in my dwelling unit is poor quality, I have been de-motivated from doing all the conservation-living experiments I could do IF my dwelling unit retained heat or chill. Rumor has it the one bedroom units will be re-sidinged and up-insulated any year now. Still and all, 10 cubic feet of natgas use per day in the cooling season is not bad. And 2.5 kilowatt-hours of electro-use per day during the Spring and Fall is not bad.

    If I had kids I would try to think about how to make conservation living fun for kids and show them a real payoff from it. How might I do that? Till they reach the age of allowance, we would just live the normal typical high waste lifestyle the society is designed to try forcing us into. After they reached the age of “getting an allowance” we parents would sit down with the kiddies and show them what a “utility bill” is. Then we would offer to given them half the savings-in-money if they helped us introduce energy-conservation living within the household. The other half would go to “the House” to be used for purchasing little conservation upgrades here and there. As the kids got older, they could be involved in more detailed discussions about how to run and upgrade the household for even greater savings in energy-is-money, leading to even greater allowances for themselves.

    When they became pre-teens and then early-teens, they could be introduced to the Bigger Reasons for all this conservation living.

    That would be my Plan A for instilling conservation-living habits and outlooks in my kids. What I would NOT do is give them “get off my lawn” type lectures about “turn out the lights”.
    But it is all academic because I do not have any kids.

    Reply
  11. lordkoos

    Things get a little more difficult as kids get older, at least that seems to be the case with one friend of mine who has 14-year-old twins (girl & boy). Their dad tells me that they can get stressed about the issue when it comes up. It’s pretty awful that kids that age must worry about such things.

    Reply
  12. Summer

    Well, they’ve outlined teaching children “how to live with austerity,” but not too much on how to battle climate change.

    Reply
  13. Craig Dempsey

    Here are two links to consider watching with children, and then discussing. The first is a five-minute presentation fromTEDEd about what makes a greenhouse gas what it is (and it is not as complicated as the title might make it sound). Link: How quantum mechanics explains global warming

    The other is a full length (about 90 minutes) documentary from the National Geographic, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood.

    If you want to impress the kids, you might want to sneak a preview, but either way they are worth viewing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *