"Bees," my three year old likes to call out, "make honey for me!"
Global warming, diminishing species diversity, and acid rain are "capital P" Problems that seem very far away to a young child. A glob of honey, on the other hand, is immediate and sweet. We have to take care of the bees because they pollinate the beautiful flowers and make us tasty honey.
Raising children who feel connected, in ways both big and small, is our best hope for a better planet.
Last weekend we went to one of the many beautiful wildlife refuges on Long Island for their Earth Day Eco-Festival.
We enjoyed a nature walk through the marshland.
The kids each held a baby Bob White in their hands. So Squee!
Then, wrote "Words on the Wind" on pieces of bleach-free paper and tied them onto trees with yarn that the birds can use for their nests.
They balanced on a make-shift beam...which only goes to show how much fun you can have with a few logs and some lumber.
They made leaf and bark rubbings and I learned a tip: rub the crayon between your hands to warm it up.
This was a slingshot used to fling a squirrel. Allegedly, this was teaching the kids about flying squirrels. I would buy this as a physics lesson but not really a biology one. Oh, well, it was fun and isn't that enough?
This was one of my favorite activities -- a collaborative mural. Definitely planning to do this with a playgroup or our Daisy Troop!
Most importantly, we deepened our ties with the natural world, one fluffy friend, one tree, one trail at a time.
Adults are not so different from children. Self-interest is a powerful motivator. And enlightened self-interest can be a powerful force for good. Energy efficient appliances are not only good for the planet, they are good for the wallet. Biodiversity is a key to an abundant food source and preserving potentially medicinal plants. Supporting local, organic farmers reduces energy consumption and strengthens the local economy--plus the food is healthy and delicious.
We have one world and it is all connected. You cannot put up a fence to keep out pollution. You cannot harm part of our planet without diminishing it all.
How are you connected? Tell me how you can create a smarter life and better planet, and encourage positive change for generations to come. Comment below to be entered to win a Haier Energy Star Dehumidifier! Official Contest Rules.