“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” - Rachel Carson
For our last post on this month’s topic of ‘family care’ we’d like to share a few excerpts from a newsletter out of the University of Toronto’s Family Care Office, written by Karolina Szymanski
(U of T 4th year Undergraduate Student). This article touches on a very important point – that, aside from many other losses, if we do not grow up with or inherit an appreciation of nature, what will motivate us to care for the earth?
When we think of ‘green’ living, we often think of carbon footprints, sustainability, responsible consumerism and other similar concerns relating to the environment and our role within it. Yet there is another type of green philosophy that is slowly gaining momentum on the parenting front: a pedagogical green that addresses children’s fading relationship with nature.
Traditionally, green parenting has been concerned with understanding how the environment affects children and how children affect the environment. Many families have since adopted green initiatives in their lives, including recycling and composting, purchasing eco-friendly products as well as offering local foods. As a result, today’s children are very informed about environmental issues. Despite these strides, however, the way kids understand and experience nature has changed significantly in the last few decades whereby the young know more about nature and ecology then ever before, their physical exposure and intimacy with nature is lessening.
According to child-advocate Richard Louv, author of The Last Child in the Woods, this historical shift in children’s relationship with the outdoors is of crucial importance to living green, affecting not only nature’s future stewards but having considerable environmental, social, psychological, and spiritual implications for families and our planet. Bringing together a variety of research, Louv suggests a link between kids’ disassociation with nature and disturbing childhood trends such as depression, attention disorders and obesity. One of the most quoted lines from his book is an American 4th Grader’s remark: “I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”
Louv says that “healing the broken bond” between children and nature is in our best collective interest, not only because “aesthetics and justice demands it” but also because our overall health and that of the earth depend on it. One of the author’s main objectives is to reveal that how the young repond to nature, and how they raise their own children “will shape the configurations and conditions of our cities, homes, and lives” today and in the future.
Read the complete article which includes a list of ‘eco-activities’ to do with kids.
Look forward to more new posts in May as we move into our focus on packaging!
(sustainabilityninja.com, expeditions.com/blog, picturepost.wordpress.com, ecokidscorner.com)