Eco-curious, eco-conscious, but not eco-anxious…

12 October, 2022

I have already been more straddling my environmental convictions. The arrival of my children put many things into perspective, I learned to put water (sometimes more, sometimes less!) in my wine! We choose our battles as they say!

The fact is that it's always remained present in my daily life, even if it's more flexible now. I want my children to grow up with a concern for making a difference, even on their very small scale . I want our family choices to be in line with our green values . 

But, how do we talk about the environment to children?

How do we explain to them the polluted oceans, endangered species, natural disasters due to climate change, deforestation... without making them afraid for the future? More and more young people report that their anxiety about environmental conditions is high .

How to raise awareness without being too alarmist for our minis?

How to preserve childhood while talking about eco-responsibility?

Wow! A no worse challenge, I would tell you! In this article, I will try to answer these questions by showing you how we try to make our children aware of the importance of making eco-responsible choices on a daily basis . Our green course is not perfect! We're taking small steps. We make discoveries and we learn… a little every day! We get a lot of information. As we read, we become a tribe always a little greener!

Curiosity to start!

Before telling my children that it is important to do this or that for the environment, I wanted them to see the beauty of nature . I wanted to cultivate their curiosity for everything around them .

My children are very fond of animals. Like all children for that matter! We read several books, mostly documentaries, to learn more about the lives of animals : their habitat, their diet, their predators. This led my boys to understand that it is important to respect the forest and the trees . We explored Élise Gravel's Les petits dégoûtants collection to find out which little animals “spoke” less to my tribe. They loved it! They saw that each species is important even if the animal is "gross"!

We continued with documentaries on plants and insects . Yes, yes, we read a lot! And when we're not reading, the children leaf through and look at the pictures (I leave you some reading suggestions at the end of the article!).

We spent a lot of time outdoors watching birds*, plants, trees . We did nature walk version treasure hunts . We filled pages in our copies of the Nature Journal . We watched the tulips and the buds slowly emerge.

We grew herbs and vegetables . We took seedlings, but also mango and avocado pits, lemon pips, a piece of ginger, a pineapple head. I wanted them to see where our food comes from . How long it takes to harvest a tomato and how important it is not to waste food. Now, whenever we make guacamole, the kids ask me to grow a plant!

We have laying hens that the children love! We explain to them that we have to take care of them since they give us food.

I told myself that it was impossible to show my children that the environment is important if it is unknown to them . If we never spend time there. We also read Greta and the Giants . They found a little girl there (Greta Thunberg!) who opposes the giants who are destroying the forest. My children have understood that even if we are small, together we can make big changes . The goal is reached! Yeah!

Explain why, but not too much

When someone asks me to do something, I like to know why. It is for this reason that when I ask my children to do such and such a thing and they ask me why, I don't just answer them “because that's the way it is! » .

On the other hand, I do not go there length and breadth as regards the explanations. For example :

  • We do not let the tap water run when we brush our teeth to avoid wasting water.
  • We use reusable water bottles, reusable containers and cloth bags to avoid throwing items away each time. This creates less waste.
  • We take our bags for vegetables and fruits to the grocery store to avoid bringing home unnecessary plastic.

That's all.

They don't need to know the rest just yet. With us, more elaborate explanations will come later.

Also, we are also starting to use food scraps . You know, those parts of vegetables that we usually throw away (ideally it would be in the compost or for the chickens for that matter!). Before throwing away a piece of vegetable or fruit, we wonder if it could have a second life. That's where I discovered Chic Fridge Sans Fric and Florence-Léa Siry. I like the optimistic approach of the author who encourages us to adopt changes without feeling guilty.

This summer, I want to start collecting wild plants with the children. I found in the Forest book that several plants on our land are edible. By identifying them and cooking them, I will be able to show the children that nature offers us food almost everywhere without us even realizing it sometimes ! Isn't she amazing?! All the more reason to take care of it!

Raising awareness without feeling guilty

I want my kids to be proud of the little things they do . Let these gestures become automatic and let them take thoughtful actions in their daily lives that will have an impact, however small, on the environment.

I don't want them to be in a constant state of stress and anger because they can't control everything . One small step at a time while striving to be a better person every day. The amelioration keeps going!

As a family, we can also look for alternatives that could be put in place to improve . Children will surely have lots of ideas to make your daily life more eco-responsible. The idea is to see if each alternative is viable in your reality. Often, choices that come from us are more motivating!

We will not bring about change by being negative. We must remain hopeful and see what can be done. One small step at a time!

My reading suggestions for children:

My reading suggestions for parents:

* Québec Oiseaux offers a great resource for bird watching. My kids love it very much!

1 comment

Chantal Thériault

C’est un très beau texte qui en dit long et qui reflète en même temps ta joie de vivre.

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