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Why Are Children Such Naturally Adept Eco-Warriors?

By Sara Zipf

Younger generations are driving environmental changes at home, as found in a survey conducted by OnePoll. The survey of some 2,000 Americans—most of whom were parents—showed that parents wished to embrace a greener lifestyle to leave a better world to future generations. However, kids are driving change in another way—they are more knowledgeable about their parents on many aspects of sustainability, often reminding the latter about matters such as recycling and the avoidance of single-plastic purchases. It’s all got to do with the many opportunities that kids these days have to learn about the importance of fighting for a greener world.

Environmental Studies in the School Curriculum

If, in the past, studies about environmental matters were often limited to subjects such as Science and Geography, these days, topics such as global warming are making their way into almost every subject thinkable—from Math right through to English, Art, and even Music. Teachers are a big impulse for change, setting assignments and tasks that ask children to calculate their family’s carbon footprint, compose rap songs inspired by the environment, or create artwork that represents the challenges currently faced by Planet Earth. In traditional subjects like Science, meanwhile, renewable energies like solar and aeolic energy are being studied in a much more vital manner. Thus, theoretical learning is taking a back seat to experiments in which children harness natural energy from the sun or wind, using it to measure melting rates, light up toy houses, or cook their favorite treats.

Places to Visit

Sustainability is the buzzword in a plethora of industries, with eco-tourism booming like never before. Today, kids in areas such as Southern California have so many organized visits and activities to enjoy at places like the Agua Hedionda Lagoon—which is home to four habitats (marshlands, upland plant communities, intertidal mudflats, and subtidal habitats). Children are able to visit these beautiful areas and view the growth and proliferation of flora and fauna from up-close. Organized visits include camps, games, crafts, exhibitions, and so many activities planned with a respect for the environment at their core.

Environmental Activism

Child eco-warriors like Greta Thunberg are letting children know that their voice matters and that they should make it heard. Social media has connected children across the globe who wish to fight for the oceans, endangered species, forest degradation, and more. Children these days have a plethora of weekly community and extra-curricular activities centered on saving the Planet. These include beach and forest cleanups, planting trees, and volunteering at animal and wildlife shelters. Unlike the case in the past, where students were largely dependent on the activities organized by their respective schools, these days, children have a wide array of websites and social media platforms to discover eco-awareness and sustainability activities taking place near them.

Children these days are more environmentally aware than their predecessors, largely because of the importance given to sustainability across their vast array of subjects. Kids also have activists their age to look up to and these influencers are making big waves in the media. Finally, there are so many places to visit and a bevy of community clean-ups and similar activities aimed at empowering kids and teaching them the important role they can play in making the world a greener place.

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