Heather White

Life Story Recorder, Family Echoes

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As a parent (or a grandparent), how do you bring your child / children up to think and live "Green"?

The environmental movement began in earnest in the 1970's - over 40 years ago. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Soil Association and the WWF to name just a few major environmental campaigning groups that began in that decade. These were joined by major books such as Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", James Lovelock's "Gaia" theory and E F Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered".

The Rio Earth Summit is 20 years old this year. Yet species extinction, habitat loss, environmental degradation and pollution of the land, air and sea is progressing at an alarming pace. The necessity to protect, or at least to manage the Earths non-renewable resources is becoming a critical issue.

Today's parents and grandparents will have grown up with green issues rising up the social, political and media agenda.

Have you, or are you, bring up your child / children to understand green issues and to consider their part in living in a sustainable way?

How did you, are you, doing this?

Has it had a positive impact on your child’s attitude to life and living?

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    Jun 16 2012: Spend time in nature with them. As the kids grow up loving the natural spaces, they are naturally (sorry) moved to protect them, contribute to their preservation, and to change their behaviors to help.
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    Jun 2 2012: Sesame Street helped me, way back when. They had a song that asked "Are you a Wasteroooooo?"
    A muppet taught my kids to turn the water off until it was needed again when they were brushing their teeth.
    We applied ithat singing question to a thousand things and in fact, there was a time when I was known as the Compost Queen at our house.
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      Jun 2 2012: I love the "Wasteroooooo" song - especially since SE England is currently suffering a drought and hosepipe bans are in force.
  • Jun 2 2012: Great question! If everyone thought like you, we would have a healthier planet. Some ideas:
    1)Teach your child to revere the earth & its creatures as do the American Indians.
    2) Don't buy anything you don't really need/want, & try to buy only recyclable &/or biodegradable items. It's really difficult, at least in the US, where we have a shortsighted & consumer based economy. Decidedly unhealthy...greedy. Maybe the UK is more progressive, but here the packaging alone is enough to pollute the earth for centuries.
    3) When children are old enough, they can learn to advocate green living by contacting manufacturers of everything they buy that doesn't meet green standards. If enough of us did this....
    4) Children can also learn to contact policy makers.
    5) Some children love "projects & causes" & can start recycling programs at school.
    6) In the US, CNBC has a documentary on trash that's hair raising. For older children...it would whelm & depress young children. Maybe the UK has a similar documentary - or I could send you ours.
    Best regards!
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      Jun 2 2012: Thanks Sandra,
      Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all lived in tune with nature as the native American's did / do.