It gives me great hope to know that our children will inherit the world from us because every day I see my little ones becoming more generous, caring, smarter and just better than will I ever will be. But sometimes it also makes me sad to think that, just like our generation and every generation before us, by the time they reach adulthood, they’ll have to deal a whole bunch of social and environmental problems that they had no part in causing. Climate change is a big part of that for parents and children all over the world.
Let’s keep a hold of that hope, as technological advances are moving forwards so rapidly I can hardly keep up, and things that seemed like science fiction a few years ago are now science fact. But we need to educate our children about the world and its problems, especially climate control if they are going to make a difference.
In order to help you talk to your kids about climate change without making them think the world is doomed, we’d like to share with you these great ideas for having these conversations.
1 What is climate change
The first thing you’ll want to do is explain climate change to your child in a way that is easy for them to understand. It might seem obvious to parents if the seasons or temperatures have changed a lot since we were kids, but our kids won’t have experienced that.
The simplest way to explain to your children is to break it down and simplify, explain to them that the way human beings are living their lives, is causing the world to get hotter and hotter. Some of the causes of this include burning oil and gas in factories and farming cows which release gases into the environment which form an invisible layer around the world that keeps the heat in. Cutting down forests is also responsible for this.
A great way to introduce kids to how the world works and climate change is to show them a video like this.
While we don’t want to scare our kids to death, we really need to get the idea through that climate change is going to affect everything on the planet, including people and animals in every country all over the world.
2 What are the effects of climate change
Basically, climate change is hurting our planet. Sea levels are rising, polar ice is melting, and animals are losing their natural habitats and dying out. Farmers and fishermen are finding it harder to make a living. Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture.
3 Help Children to Fall in Love with Nature
Where ever you live, we are sure that there’s a way to take your children to see the beauty of nature, whether it be forests, mountains, rivers, or even just the local park. Let them see and experience the wonder of the natural world. Let them climb trees and play in the dirt. Show them all the wonderful and colorful plants and flowers. Then explain to them that climate change threatens to take all these away from us and that if we want to keep living in a beautiful and green world, we need to protect it.
4 Build positive Eco friendly habits for the whole family
Remember, children need to hear postitive facts about the world around them, it’s not all doom and gloom. Explain to children how we can start cutting down on the waste that contributes to climate change right here at home. There are lots of great way environmentally friendly families can cut down on waste and pollution, and you can teach your children to be the ones to set the example. Some of these could be
Don’t leave taps running – Help children understand and know that you can waste as much as 35,000 liters of water per year by leaving the tap running when you brush your teeth? Turn those taps off when not in use to save the environment and your water bill.
Don’t use the car unless you have to – if you can and it is safe to do so, walk, cycle, jog or take the bus with your child. It is much more efficient for the whole planet, and also promotes healthier lifestyles for the whole family.
Don’t use plastic bags – Plastic shopping bags are dreadfully wasteful and often end up in landfill sites or polluting the worlds oceans. And they take a whopping 500 years to fully disintegrate! Teach your kids to take reusable canvas bags when shopping.
Do turn off all lights and electrics when not in use – Turn the lights off to save your bills and the planet
Do recycle – Obviously…
Do compost food waste – it might sound silly, but composting food waste helps combat climate change and give back to the soil.
5 Use science games and activities for Learning
Helping them to Learn about Nature and the environment.
There are many games and activities for children to use and learn about climate change. Learning about the environment is a great way for them to encourage their love for the environment but also to engage with it in a proactive way so they can realize the change that we all want to see in the world.
These might seem like very adult things to be asking your kids to think about waste, but let your kids take a leading role in helping your family be more Eco-conscious, as it will help them develop good habits for clean and sustainable life.