Are you wondering how you can inspire your child to take action against climate change? There are many important issues that can be difficult to discuss with children and climate change is one of them. It’s a pressing problem that requires everyone’s attention and many parents believe their kids should be educated about the reality of climate change and its impact on our environment, economy, and society.
In fact, according to a national poll NPR conducted in 2019, more than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change in schools. Similarly, 86% of teachers feel the same. Despite these sentiments, the reality is most teachers aren’t addressing climate change in their classrooms. The same poll found that fewer than half of parents have talked about the issue with their kids.
Where to start?
One big reason for this disconnect could be that parents simply don’t know where to start talking about climate change with their children. It can feel like a scary, stressful topic to tackle—but one new book is helping to ease the tension by showcasing empowering examples of how to grapple with it.
Rebel Girls’ new book, Climate Warriors, highlights 25 tales of women who protect the earth. It celebrates all kinds of climate activists including those who lead marches, plant trees, clean up beaches, write persuasive books, lobby government officials, challenge power structures, and invent eco-friendly materials, to give readers a wide variety of ideas for how they might join the fight. Plus, the Rebel Girls app includes expanded audio stories along with other fun features that bring these true tales to life in immersive ways.
Celebrating climate warriors
With April marking Earth month, it’s the perfect time to celebrate climate warriors around the world and the bold actions they are taking to safeguard the planet. It’s also a time for children everywhere to reflect on their relationships with the planet and think about what they can do to protect the environment. Luckily, there is no shortage of Earth-conscious role models to look to for inspiration.
The book spotlights women like Wangari Maathai who started a world-changing campaign to plant trees to combat deforestation and remake an ailing landscape. Since then, she and the other women in her Green Belt Movement have planted more than 51 million trees in Kenya and improved countless lives.
It features activists like Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who stepped up as the protector of one of the largest wetlands in the world: the Florida Everglades. Where developers saw a swamp that needed to be drained and changed, she saw a wonderland of wildlife and biodiversity.
Children may also be motivated by Autumn Peltier’s story, which highlights Peltier’s journey as a water protector, fighting to make sure First Nations peoples—and people everywhere—have clean drinkable water. Or they may be inspired by Greta Thunberg, who led a humble protest in Sweden that turned into a tide of young activists fighting for a sustainable future. Kids may be compelled to take action like Nemonte Nenquimo, who led a group to sue the Ecuadorian government that tried to sell land belonging to the Waorani people to oil companies, They took bold action—and they won!
Motivating children to take action against climate change
Wangari, Marjory, Autumn, Greta, and Nemonte are just a few of the countless climate warriors of the past and present (and surely the future too!) who might motivate children to be conscious of—and conscientious with—nature and natural resources.
Climate Warriors can be a great tool to introduce children to the reality of climate change and inspire them to take action to change the world. Each story also comes with stunning illustrations and the book also includes activities to energize their Earth Month spirit.
It’s just one way parents can take the first step to addressing climate change with kids. Reading each story together can spark meaningful discussions about some of the planet’s biggest problems. Children can easily be a part of the solution.
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