how to avoid destroying the world

So I have tried hard to strike a good balance between teaching Elliott about recycling, conserving, reusing, and human’s effects on the environment. Because I see him dig through the recycling bin to find items that can be reused in his crafting and he enjoys dumping scraps in the compost, I assumed we were handling these issues in a very effective, age-appropriate way. Awareness with action.

Then today he raised this question while carrying his (pretend) duck – “Why are humans destroying the world? I am saving this duck because the world is being destroyed.” I guess it is time to dial it down a notch.  

I would love to hear other people’s ideas on teaching children to cherish and respect our earth, ways you have found to avoid the scary, doomsday approaches (which I really thought we were not doing!).

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2 Comments

  1. Noelle said,

    February 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t have an answer to that, but I think kids are smart enough to perceive how unsustainable our affluent, western lifestyle is even when we try to use positive words and explanations. I remember listening to the “Compact it, Compress it, Recycle” song on Sesame St and kind of freaking out because our family didn’t recycle. The awesome upside of that is kids still see possibilities that we have given up on. So they can recognize that something’s got to change, but not see all of the obstacles to the change. Which, maybe, is a perspective we adults can benefit and learn from.

  2. March 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    It’s interesting to see this point of view. I can’t say fore sure if I agree or not, but it is something I will think about now.


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