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How To Talk To Your Children

About Global Warming

 


by Emily Main

As if the proliferation of movies with funny green ogres and sassy talking rats isn't proof enough, children love animals. And movies with animals are helpful in teaching kids an appreciation of nature and getting them to develop a relationship with the world around them.

 

As if the proliferation of movies with funny green ogres and sassy  talking rats isn't proof enough, children love animals. And movies with animals are helpful in teaching kids an appreciation of nature and getting them to develop a relationship with the world around them.

 

The adventure movie Arctic Tale, with its focus on surviving as a family in the face of global warming and a changing landscape, helps drive home the point that how we live in our homes affects the animals' homes. Kids will invariably have questions about climate change, but they can easily feel empowered knowing that they are part of the solution. Following are some suggestions to get a discussion started:

   Let kids know that, just like the animals in the movie, we need a healthy place to live too. Without ice, the polar bears and walruses can't hunt for food, and without clean air, kids can't play outside or carry on with other daily activities.

   Draw parallels to your own family. Animal families like to spend time together, and protecting the animals' habitats allows them to do so.

   Children learn by observing, so parents should set a good example (see tips below) and reinforce good, energy-saving behaviors.

   Teach them to re-use materials, especially paper, before they're recycled. For instance, turn milk cartons into birdhouses and glass jars into piggy banks.

   Encourage children to look for other ways to reduce energy and save materials at home or at school.

   Above all, keep the message positive and let kids know they can make a difference.

Set a Good Example

Here are a few steps you can take in your daily life to save energy and reduce your environmental impact.

1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use a third of the energy.

2. Plug television sets, computers, printers and chargers (for cell phones and PDAs) into power strips and turn the strip off when not in use.

3. Install energy-saving ceiling and floor fans (or use extra sweaters and blankets) to reduce the strain on air-conditioning (and heating) systems.

4. Walk or ride your bike. Short car trips generate more greenhouse-gas emissions than long trips.

5. If you live within walking distance of your child's school, walk with him or her at least once a week. You'll spend more time together, and you can turn your stroll into a mini nature hike.

6. Regular car maintenance reduces emissions and your gas bill.

7. Take reusable mugs to the coffee shop and bring reusable bags when you shop.

8. Buy recycled! In addition to school papers and notebooks for kids, look for tissues, paper towels, toilet paper and napkins with recycled content.

9. Switch to a green power provider, which many utilities now allow, and get your electricity from renewable sources, like wind or solar, rather than polluting coal.

10. Get involved with nature. The more time you and your family spend outdoors, the greater appreciation you'll have for preserving it.

And be sure to see the Arctic Tale movie with as many children

as possible.

 

 

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