by Vanessa Ryan-Rendall
Thanks, once again, to Vanessa Ryan-Rendall from Educate. Empower, for contributing your wisdom to our blog! Please enjoy her article on facilitating an environmentally-aware community amongst our young Australians.
How do we raise our children to be more environmentally conscious children?
How we do we raise them so that they are not caught up in the world of consumption, acting for the Instagram followers or having a total disregard for tomorrow?
In the western world where it seems that convenience is key to our survival we, the adults, need to change our ways and show our children that convenience isn’t always the best way forward.
Raising environmentally aware children is paramount. This doesn’t just mean awareness of the natural world; it also means awareness of how our actions impact other people’s lives.
But how do we do this when convenience is right there to make our lives easier when many of us work full time, need to keep a tight budget or want to relax rather than clean, cook or sew?
We can do this – one step at a time. And that one step at a time should be together with our children and on display to them.
How can you slowly move from a life of convenience to an eco-conscious life?
- Go to the library and borrow some of the books I have reviewed. By educating your children about the world around them they are more likely to make changes. Try Feathers by Phil Cummings.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables from a coop, markets or fresh delivery. Vegetables and fruits have little or no packaging and have less of an impact on the environment those plastic wrapped things. Try A Patch from Scratch by Megan Forward.
- Try baking your own biscuits, cakes and bread. I’ve just started making my own sourdough and it is a lot easier than what I thought! I’ll share my recipe some day soon. Try this delicious recipe for Coconut Carrot Cake.
- Get outside into the natural world every day. It might just be the park and that’s fine. We need to teach our children about these spaces that allow us to slow down. Try Last Tree in the City by Peter Carnavas.
- If your children are old enough, watch the news but if not there are plenty of books out there that explain these issues in a much more gentle way. Try Illegal by Eoin Colfer, Phasmid by Rohan Cleve and The Hairy Nosed Wombats Find a New Home by Jackie French.
- And most importantly be a part of your community. Check out the Crop swap groups, local community gardens, markets, second hand stores, food delivery groups and repair cafes. Being part of your community will help you to move away from a life of convenience. Try The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba.
Is there a change you need to make? Perhaps a book will inspire that change – ask me and I can help!
Vanessa Ryan-Rendall is a Primary school teacher who currently works in the library. She has a Masters in Gifted Education and is passionate about encouraging children to read a diverse range of books so that they can open up their minds to other worlds and challenge their thinking.
Vanessa’s has a blog where she focuses on books that help to educate children (and possibly their parents and teachers) in the areas of sustainability, animal conservation, getting outside and global issues such as poverty, refugees and conflict.