Challenging climate change with Generation Green

Challenging climate change with Generation Green

We're all getting more involved in the fight against climate change thanks in no small part to children who're rightly demanding that adults don't trash young people's futures

Children are demanding action on climate change and it's important adults in all walks of life communicate the science and the courses of action needed to get to a zero carbon world. It's encouraging to see that businesses, schools and social media activists are amplifying these vitally important messages. 

Curriculum changes in schools 
 
When it comes to delivering lessons on climate change, many teachers feel ill-equipped to do this because of a lack knowledge and resources, according to a recent YouGov survey. Nearly 70 per cent of teachers questioned say they would prioritise climate change education and want it added to the UK national curriculum. In June, Labour pledged to do this, with climate education starting in primary school. The subject is now being taught in key stage 3 (age 11-14) and 4 (age 14-16), but experts feel children need to start learning and understanding about climate change at a far younger age. 
 
After she skipped lessons to hold a solo protest outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, 16 year-old Greta Thunberg triggered a wave of school strikes for the climatea around the world and Greenpeace has produced a worldwide map of strike locations, mostly held on Friday and known as  ‘Fridays for Future’. Children  on every continent have organised themselves and led a call to action, and education is changing as a result. EduCCate Global has generated a training plan for teachers, and more than 600 teachers have signed up to the module-based program through which they receive UN accreditation as a ‘climate change teacher’. This is an extremely positive step towards building a strong system of education surrounding climate change. 
 
Tackling climate change with The Greta Effect 
 
Young climate activists are using social media to spread the word, while Greta has become a totemic figure for action on climate change with her clear messages and entreaties to everyone to listen to climate scientists and to deal only in facts. After her appearance at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the #Fridaysforfuture movement sparked a global following and in March 2019 it triggered two coordinated events which saw more than 1.6 million people from 133 countries take part in demonstrations. Greta has become world famous, but her lack of ego means she remains focused on the message that climate change must be stopped. Speaking to Teen Vogue, Greta says 'young people in developing countries are sacrificing their education to protest against the destruction of their future and world'. Young people are certainly listening to Greta, who has exposed politicians’ inability to date to address the seriousness of climate change. 'I realised that no one is doing anything to prevent this from happening so then I have to do something,' she said. From sailing across the Atlantic on a zero-carbon yacht, to helping all of her own family give up meat, Greta is leading the way towards a greener future. 
 
Being climate conscious in the home and elsewhere 
We can teach and inspire young people to tackle climate change by being conscious about it in our homes and beyond. 
Pick up greener habits 
Make children aware early on about the need for good green habits. Recycling is crucial and easy to do because local council collect waste for recycling. In 2018 43.2 per cent of households recycled their waste, but this figure needs to reach 50 per cent by 2020 to meet the EU's recycling target. Teaching kids to recycle can be fun and you can get little ones involved by getting crafty with some DIY recycling bins. You could push them to come up with creative ways to reuse household waste materials such as cardboard cereal boxes and plastic milk bottles. Using compost is also becoming a popular choice in many households. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to get started with some kitchen composting - from banana skins to apple cores, avocado pits and more, most food waste can be composted and over time you’ll create your own nutrient rich fertilizer. 
We can also be green when it comes to shopping. While there’s a lot of debate about what are the most best eco-friendly fabrics for clothing, many fashion companies are striving to use more recycled yarns/fibres in their production processes. Muddy Puddles is one of them and they are proud to produce kids waterproof jackets using more recycled fibres -  perfect for your mini eco-warrior.
 
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