My daughter Georgia is 5 and my son Eli is 8. These are impressionable ages. My first priority is to get them to love nature and so this summer I took them on four camping trips to local beach areas. Some of my best bonding with my kids has occurred during these nature trips.
Next is our own vegetable garden. From day one, I have encouraged my kids to be active participants in all of the various stages. My daughter now takes great pride in watching the seeds that she plants grow into something that she can pick and eat. She has taken ownership of the garden and refers to it as “our garden”. Sometimes she disappears and I find her out on her own weeding, picking vegetables, or turning over soil. I won’t be surprised if some day she starts referring to it as “her garden”.
Many opportunities arise for meaningful conversations about protecting nature when you are playing on a beach littered with pieces of plastic and Styrofoam. I try to spend part of my visit filling at least one bag worth of garbage. My kids notice this and they copy me. I tell them that if they don’t pick it up, there is a good chance that nobody will. When the rains come, this garbage can work its way into the ocean. If every one picked up just one piece of plastic a day, this would add up to making a difference with things like the giant patches of plastic swirling around in all of our earth’s major oceans.
~What other ways does your family do its part?
-carpooling to school.
-doing errands by foot or bike when possible
-turning off lights that aren’t being used
-making use of second-hand clothes
-conserving water (using grey water, drought tolerant plants, low flow devices, drip irrigation & channeling water from our sump pump to our plants)
-growing our own vegetables
-picking up trash whenever possible
-always bringing hazardous household waste to drop-off locations.
-striving to be more responsible with plastics
-striving to become a “zero landfill” household
~ Could you share some ideas with my readers about how to incorporate lesson plans or family activities that parents can do as a follow up to Sofia's Dream?
I think it is vital that parents (and other family members) strive to teach children that they really do make a difference. On my website www.landwilson.com under the section “My Story”, I explain how I went through my younger years not believing that I made a difference. I think a lot of people feel like this. Kids (and adults) do make a difference and they need to learn this. Great achievements by groups of people happen by the collective efforts of individual people
One of my favorite blogs for information on ideas for reducing household waste is at http://www.zerowastehome.blogspot.com/. The founder, Bea Johnson says, “Refuse, refuse, refuse. Then reduce, reuse, recycle (and only in that order).
Everything I mentioned should give families a good start in helping conserve the planet for themselves and future generations.
Shop: Sofia's Dream (as well as a lovely collection of Earth Minded books) can be found at Little Pickle Press and at these lovely shops. All of their books have also just been released on itunes.
The Giveaway: Little Pickle Press has offered to give one of my readers their own copy of Sofia's dream.
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This Giveaway ends on December 10th at 9pm. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail before a new name is drawn. One entry (plus mentioned additional entries) per household. US and Canadian residents only.
The opinions expressed in the above review are my honest experiences, and thoughts. I did not receive any money for writing this review.