On Friday 15th February, Free Rangers, inspired by Greta Thunberg, marched down the Green Way cycle path to raise awareness about global warming. Greta Thunberg and her action to highlight the Swedish government’s previous decades of inaction, spurred us on to have our own say.
We wanted to provide the children with the opportunity to have their voices heard and to help them understand that they too are capable of action.
We tackled the huge and daunting subject of global warming in the following ways:
1) On our walk we noticed the trees and spoke about what they do for us. We spoke about where our water and food comes from and the importance of looking after our own little pocket of land. One simple way of doing this is by picking up litter and recycling.
2) As practitioners we want to foster an association and connection with both our immediate environment and habitats further afield; an easy way of doing this is by sharing books and programmes about nature that focus on animals and habitats both locally and globally, this will enable children to make a connection with the differences but to also understand all spaces are connected.
3) At this time of year as Spring starts to emerge we can share the changes in nature with our children so that they start to appreciate the wonder nature provides and therefore feel motivated to protect it.
4) By carrying out our little march, we wanted to provide the children with the message that they aren’t powerless and that children can make progress. Just one example of this was during half term forest school club when one of the attendees asked to check that the chocolate hobnobs were palm oil free. I’m sad to say we hadn’t realised they weren’t and immediately the little girl threw her biscuit into the fire refusing to eat it. This action had a significant ripple effect. It changed our buying habits for Forest School Club and it opened up a discussion about palm oil, whether it can be farmed sustainably and why the destruction of a habitat is so significant for the Orangutan species.
Together with our children we can ask the following questions from their nursery settings and schools:
1) Ask your settings if they buy food produced in a sustainable way.
2) Ask your teacher to run a project on rainforests.
3) Raise funds to donate to an organisation that conserves rainforests.
4) Read about the children and families that live in rainforests.
5) Tell all your friends about rainforests.
6) Use less paper…..a strong argument for no or less homework.
7) Does your school or nursery use environmentally friendly paper.
8) Write a blog post or Facebook post that highlights a great organisation doing great work looking after the environment.
9) When out shopping ask your child to look out for the green frog label.
10) When children are a little older try looking at the National Geographic Kids page https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/category/discover/
What can we do at home?
Within our own homes we can try to foster energy saving habits such as:
1) Turning off electrical items
2) Walking wherever we can or using pedal power
3) Avoid palm oil and look at the ethical consumer guide to inform our buying decisions https://www.ethicalconsumer.org
4) Plant a tree
5) Buy a guppy friend to prevent micro plastics entering the water source http://guppyfriend.com/en/
To conclude, marching for us wasn’t about a political agenda, it was about coming together to have our say and help the planet. It was to help us all feel we aren’t powerless and that not matter what our age we can all make changes that benefit the world we live in.