Litterer! Litterer! How Children Can Impact the Climate Crisis
“Litterer! Litterer!” the little boy holding my hand screamed as the man in front of us dropped his used coffee cup on the ground.
“Shh, it’s ok. We’ll pick it up when the man leaves.” I assured the boy.
“Why did he throw it on the ground?” he questioned.
The man looked back at me, smiling as he got into his car. “You know, I’m not sure,” I said.
“Well, my teacher says that our earth is dying and that we need to reduce and recycle so that our earth doesn’t die, and that littering is bad.”
I smiled, “Your teacher is right, and you are so smart. Let’s go pick-up the cup.”
Like most young Millennials, I often feel overwhelmed by the climate crisis.
I analyze my purchasing decisions, scour voting rosters for those that support green initiatives, try to use public transportation whenever I can, and do my best to support green businesses.
And with all this work, it never seems like enough. I often feel discouraged by companies that greenwash products, the ideology that climate change isn’t real, and large corporations that care more about money than the earth and the people who buy their products. It often feels like the global realization that human impact affects the earth’s health is too little, too late.
However, this interaction with a little boy on a play-date with my daughter gave me hope.
He attends a Montessori school where questions are encouraged and societal boundaries are pushed in a safe environment through play. This alternative education path often fosters curiosity in children and develops independence.
He was bold, not complacent, and educated on the importance of being a good steward of our planet.
He is a symbol of a generation that will grow up caring about the earth, steward its health, and change policy with boldness to protect green revitalization.
Here’s what we can do to help.
- Vote for local, state, and national leaders that support green initiatives and education bills.
- Encourage and foster boldness in our youth.
- Support alternative education paths that may just save the world one day.
- Share your story and the stories of those that have passed with younger generations so the same destructive history will not repeat itself.
- Don’t give up. There is hope for a cleaner future.
The burden of the climate crisis is heavy, and it should be. But, together, we carry the load. If this little boy can have such love, compassion, and boldness for a healthy earth, how much more can we have as the adults that shape his generation’s future?