Saving our environmentally abused planet is never for ourselves but for the NextGen.
As Dan Chiras points out in his much-needed book “EcoKids: Raising Children Who Care For the Earth” (New Society Publishers, $17.95), the key to a sustainable future lies with today’s youth, the ones who are going to be stuck with the mess we’ve created.
Chiras, who lives off the grid and hasn’t had to pay an electric bill since 1996, provides the ideas; parents must be the ones to introduce the rapidly disappearing natural world to their children. Each chapter offers a primer on environmental issues and short case studies.
“EcoKids” also contains vignettes about children who are already making a difference. If you don’t know where to start, Chiras provides dozens of family activities, including having environmentally conscious conversations. For example, ask your child the meaning behind “Planet care is the ultimate form of self-care.” “Help them understand it, if they don’t get it,” Chiras writes.
That, of course, is his main point: Parents have to “get it” first, if they want to raise children who care about the Earth.
On pollution: “What we do to the planet, we do to ourselves.” And our kids.
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