Eco Love and Learn
Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of www.angelicindulgence.com web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.
Eco Love and Learn
What’s the best way to ensure a Greener future? Clearly and passionately communicate the eco-conscious message to our youth! Though rising sea levels, CO2s, and polar ice caps may seem subjects too complicated for the average youngster, there are many innovative, captivating, and crystal clear ways to get the little ones on board. I recently broached the subject, quite spontaneously, with my two-year old, who’s intensely compelled to play in the running water in the sink. Since I’ve learned the best way to avert a tantrum is to very simply explain the true reason for my saying “no”, it came out like this, “No more running water. . . it hurts the planet”! (He has a toy recycling truck that talks about helping the planet, so he got it!) Even if the youngsters don’t fully understand the complexities or the magnitude of the issues (like their very futures depend on it!) kids can embrace eco-conscious living in healthy, impactful ways that truly make a difference.
We can serve organic and local food, teach energy conservation and recycling, and choose educational books and videos that promote the Green cause. It all adds up to shaping a future of consciousness connected to the planet that sustains us. Here are a few stand-out organizations that target our nation’s youth, support education that promotes greener living, and generally help kids get the Green message.
Think Earth Day 365
What: A foundation that develops programs and content designed to educate, energize and empower children through the principles of awareness, choice, and action to be the stewards of our planet.
The Kid Angle: An incredibly inspirational plea to “Be the change” is the foundation of Thinkearthday365 programs and projects. Their very own superheroes, The Earth Day Defenders, lead the way to a love for protecting the Earth.
Quoted: “We have to make it fun! Inspire everyone to become defenders of the universe by working together to save planet Earth.” ~ Co-Founder, Dr. Melissa Grill Petersen. What you can do: “Be the change.” If we all commit to taking the little steps, it adds up to a big difference.
What: A foundation committed to promoting sustainable building, since energy used by buildings is one of the biggest environmental challenges. By supporting research and educational programs to design and build housing that conserves water and energy, Green Habitats hopes to help shape the builders of the future.
The Kid Angle: The educational outreach of this organization has been focused on college-age kids by sponsoring hands-on courses in sustainable architecture at Georgia Tech and becoming the steward of the Solar Decathlon House. Now Green Habitats will continue to share what is possible in sustainable building with the young minds that can make these sustainable practices standard, through placing its Solar House at Tellus, Northwest Georgia Science Museum, for hundreds of thousands of visitors to see.
Quoted: “If we can implement eco-consciousness at the design stage, the builders of the future will follow these designs.” ~ Founder, John Lie-Nielsen
What You Can Do: Get educated on what’s possible in housing energy efficiency and get involved in environmental education at a community and national level.
The Captain Planet Foundation
What: The partner program to the environmentally-focused Saturday morning cartoon, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, dedicated to supporting hands on environmental education programs for children, grades k-12.
The Kid Angle: Superheroes! Plus, since research shows that hands-on environmental projects improve literacy and test scores, in addition to raising eco-consciousness, Captain Planet is focused on these high-impact programs, like outdoor classrooms and organic gardens.
Quoted: “We’ve got to get the message to kids when they’re very young and their eyes are wide open. Then, they end up actually influencing their parents.” ~Chair, Laura Turner-Seydel
What you can do: Garden, compost, and support school programs and legislation that gets our kids outside and connected to the Earth.
It’s never too early or too late to get involved! It may not be too early to have that first “green” chat with your little ones, and certainly never too late to take whatever Green steps work for your family—steps toward “Being the change”.
*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer