Today is UN World Environment Day and the focus is on plastic pollution. We’ve got some great ideas to get your littles involved in spreading awareness, and to have fun while doing so!
The United Nations World Environment Day began in 1974 as a way for people all over the world to come together in efforts to make the earth a greener, cleaner place for themselves and generations to come.
Looking at so many sad global atrocities that happen to Mother Earth every day, it’s evident that now, more than ever, we need to make sure our children know that the resources of the planet are limited.
In a similar fashion to Earth Day, the United Nations uses World Environment Day as a platform for action to increase awareness for the protection of our earth and her resources.
Each year, there is a theme that focuses on a concerning issue to our environment, and this year’s theme looks at how we can beat plastic pollution. The host country this year is India, and focus on the host country brings to light the challenges the country faces and how we can all work together to help.
So how can you get your kiddos involved in UN World Environment Day?
The first thing I did was take my son to the website to show him some of their graphics, causes, and ideas. I learned quite a bit myself.
There are some great books geared toward children that show them the devastation pollution from plastic has on the ocean, and what that, in turn, does to the rest of the earth. Two of my favorites are Plastic Ahoy: Investigating The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and Pesky Plastic, An Environmental Story. They both bring the issue to children in a relatable way that shows the effects our actions, and the actions of others have on innocent animals.
Related: Raising Earth-Friendly Kids
You can also share with your children that we can use plastic that is already in circulation to do some fun things, thus helping to recycle materials and have fun doing it. A few years ago, my son did a jellyfish in a bottle craft we found on PBS and he still has several of his creations on a shelf in his room.
Another craft I like a lot reuses empty water bottles that seem to be in far too large a quantity these days. It comes from Meaningful Mama and my son already loves just squeezing empty water bottles for the noise, so it was a hit from the start! They’re adorable and make use of one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution there is.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do with your child to recognize and honor World Environment Day is to go into your community and work together to clean pollution, speak with local stores that still may use plastic bags about the dangers of plastic, or even go into restaurants and discuss the possibility of removing straws from their cutlery list.
The reality, sadly, is they won’t most likely get much positive feedback in the way of actions or policies changing, but they’ll learn they have voices, and that their voices matter and are worth listening to.