Easy eco activities to combat climate change
Parents and carers often feel anxious about climate change and wonder how to talk to their children about this scary topic.
We asked Earth Warriors to offer TheSchoolRun parents some top eco tips for teaching children about climate change in a solutions-focused way.
Walk and bike with your child wherever you can
Whenever possible, walk and bike to places with your children instead of taking the car. This will reduce your family’s carbon footprint and you can use it as an opportunity to talk to your child about how petrol and diesel contribute to climate change. Remember to emphasise that using cars is sometimes necessary, but wherever possible it should be avoided.
Practise eco-friendly habits at home
The easiest way to teach children about climate change is to practise climate positive and sustainable habits at home so they can learn by observing. This will help your child to develop sustainable habits that feel as routine as brushing their teeth. For example, don't use any single-use plastic at home and explain to your child why you are making a conscious effort to avoid single-use plastic.
Eat seasonal and local
When grocery shopping, buy food that is grown locally to reduce your family’s food footprint. Take your child grocery shopping with you and explain that food grown far away or not in season must be transported using planes and trucks, which use a lot of petrol and diesel and contribute to climate change. Although this can be a costly option, vegetable and fruit grown locally can often last longer – making it worth the extra pennies.
Upcycling is a great way to keep kids busy with fun, non-screen time activities while teaching them about climate change. All this while spending less money! Get some empty yoghurt pots and let your child paint them or let them help you with some cleaning using an old T-shirt upcycled into a cleaning cloth. Through these activities, explain to your child that creating less waste and reusing items helps tackle climate change.
Get your child outdoors
Get your child off the screen and outdoors by explaining the link between use of energy and climate change – tackling two challenges at once. For instance, less time on the iPad means it needs to be charged less, which is better for the environment. Engage your child in outdoor activities like nature walks and show them what amazing treasures the world has to offer.
Grow your own food using food scraps
Planting and growing food from scraps is an easy, fun and cheap activity to do with your child while teaching them about climate change. All you need are some recycled, clean food tubs and a windowsill. Explain to your child that instead of wasting food, which contributes to climate change, you can replant things like spring onion ends and carrot tops in soil and grow your own food.
Read children’s books on the topic
There are some amazing books that have been written as fun stories to teach children about climate change. A good book to start with is Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker. Take your child with you to look for books at your local independent bookstore or borrow them from a library instead of ordering them online.
Have open conversations
Talk to your child about climate change openly instead of avoiding the topic. Children will read and hear about climate change anyway, so it’s important to tackle the topic as it comes up. Explain to your child that climate change is a challenge that we are facing but if we all work together, it is a challenge that can be overcome.
About Earth Warriors
Founded by Shweta Bahri and Keya Lamba in 2020, Earth Warriors provides high quality, age-appropriate climate education materials for young children aged 3-11, which have been peer reviewed by experts from Harvard and Stanford University.