going green for children

Activities and Educational Opportunities for the Kids.

 melting ice floes                                                                                                                                  (Air-Worldwide – linked in the image)

The next generation will feel the heat, literally and figuratively.  Waters are rising, storms are becoming more powerful and destructive, and the planet is getting hotter. Whether or not you believe climate change is real, global warming is a threat, or that humans are contributing to the shifts in weather systems and devastation of natural habitats, one can’t deny that something is happening to our planet.

Toward the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was tasked with writing a piece on ‘How to Have a Great Staycation!’ at my old job. I gathered information on things people could do from home, including camping in their living rooms, going on virtual tours of various wonders of the world, and learning anything from a new language to the entire history of the Ottoman Empire. It was a great piece, if I do say so myself.

I pulled resources from that piece and around the web in order to teach the next generation, older generations, and frankly, every generation, about the climate change crisis and how we can all do our part in lessening our personal and collective impact while increasing the positive change we each can make.

Polar bears on a small piece of ice

Nat Geo Going green for children

Teachers guide - Going Green for Children

PBS Nature works Going green for children

  • PBS’ Nature Walks Everywhere virtual field trips are similar, but cover more animals, which could be fun. The UK Natural History Museum’s virtual tours and its piece on how to fix our relationship with the planet, “Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It” is a really informative piece for breaking down how we got here. Lastly, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s virtual tours further bring the viewer into the natural world.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and their National Marine Sanctuaries have a plethora of virtual tours that will take children underwater, exploring the marine ecosystems that are located all around the world. I have mixed emotions about zoos and their practices, however, they are educational and provide a unique opportunity for kids to see animals and ecosystems outside of their own. The following zoos have some great resources and tours – San Diego, Chester Zoo in the UK, and Brisbane Kids,
  • The World Wildlife Fund UK provides visitors to their website resources for teaching youngsters about the natural world. They have an entire page on resources to teach climate change to children – the UK does it well!
  • An NPR resource, 8 Ways To Teach Climate Change In Almost Any Classroom, is meant for teachers, but parents and grandparents are also such impactful teachers and educators that all of the suggestions are applicable to home life, as well. There are more resources for teachers that can be used by parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents alike. Climate Kids NASA is from NASA, but directed for kids’ use and is comprised of charts, images, and activities. Common Sense Education provides an overview of various educational materials/guides. Kids Against Climate Change is a site that has dozens of videos and resources for what climate change is, what kids can do, what adults can do, and a plethora of games and activities.

There are thousands of resources to choose from, ranging from informational videos, virtual tours, activities and more, and each one will impact the next generation. I believe activities, getting kids outside to see what the world is like, are the most helpful. The best lesson is to practice what you preach and implement more sustainable, conservationist tactics and practices in your life.

Here are some reusable products that are really useful. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I have practically everything on this list. I don’t have those exact products, but I do have glass straws, Stashers, Swedish dishcloths, glass food containers (I use old jars for other ones, too!), a metal Chemex coffee filter, beeswax cloths, and mesh produce bags, the Stojo coffee cup, reusable cotton rounds for cosmetics, and silicone sponges/scrubbers. Steven was just talking about finding a reusable mopping/Swiffer system, and that article has one!