Defying Eco-Anxiety

Climate Action Week, 20-27th September, started with a roar as millions of children and adults took to the streets to demonstrate ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit.

At last everybody’s talking about the climate. But at the same time, not surprisingly, eco-anxiety is on the rise. So how can we discuss environmental concerns without scaring our children? Only with a dose of hope and power.

We have hope – it’s still possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming – and everyone can be part of the solution. There are many empowering books available to show young eco-warriors how they can help.

Hoverflies bee poppy

Just out, ‘Be the change – poems to help you save the world’, written by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens, is aimed primarily at children aged 7-11. The accessible poems shine with humour and optimism and come with tips for small, achievable steps we can all take to help the planet.

This book is not rubbish – 50 ways to ditch plastic, reduce rubbish and save the world’ by Isabel Thomas is packed with information and ideas. It has gems ranging from (my favourite) ‘eat more chips’ – because oven chips are more environmentally friendly than a baked potato – to an introduction to circular economy.

The National Trust’s ‘How to help a hedgehog and protect a polar bear’ by Jess French and Angela Keoghan is colourful, beautifully illustrated and full of wildlife facts and nature-friendly hints.

Even a tiny child can plant a seed. To borrow from young activist Greta Thunberg’s speeches: ‘No one is too small to make a difference’.

No one is too small to make a difference

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