Guest Post: It's Our Planet Too: Eco fun for little people
Kate Cohen has turned her passion for inspiring children to love our planet into an amazing online educational resource and a series of fact-filled notebooks, perfect for a new generation of earth-protectors.
What is It’s Our Planet Too all about?
It’s Our Planet Too is a website aimed at children to raise awareness of the environment, including the plight of endangered animals. It’s essentially an education resource, full of fascinating facts, images, fun stuff to download and quotes as well as stories about the animals, written in rhyme. It’s Eco Fun For Little People.
Through positive messages on social media we can show families how easy it can be to make small lifestyle changes than can have a really positive impact. Our posts are designed to educate, inspire and focus on the positive. They include eco-tips that every family can adopt as well as ‘wow’ facts about animals that really inspire our children to care.
In 2020, we launched a range of branded ‘fact-filled’ animal notebooks for children (aged 4-10), featuring 50 facts. These are the perfect notebook for any kid who's is wild about animals and will teach your child everything that they want to know. There are ten different endangered animal notebooks available. Shop here
I bought this notebook for my 8-year-old daughter. It's been such an amazing resource for learning at home, each fact has opened up conversations, not only about lions but other animals too. She has used the notebook pages to write stories about lions, find out more facts, and draw them too. We are looking forward to getting more in this series. It's a big thumbs up from us both! Great work It's Our Planet Too! — @NoMumIsAnIsland
What inspired you to set it up?
Having studied Environmental Science at university, the idea for It’s Our Planet Too came about many years ago. But it wasn’t until I became a mum that I began to see first-hand how important it is for our children to understand the impact that we are having on the environment and the importance of taking care of our precious planet.
It all started with writing rhymes about endangered animals when I was on maternity leave and now my children are a bit older it has given me the opportunity to develop the idea further.
How can people get involved?
I truly believe that if everyone was aware of the impact that their actions were having on the planet, they would take steps to change it.
As parents, taking care of the planet and teaching our children to do the same is one of our responsibilities, but it can be tricky with a busy lifestyle.
Here are 10 simple tips and ideas for families who want to include their children on the path to greener living...
1. Lead by example
Make it normal to say NO to single-use plastic - remember to bring your reusable bottles and cups everywhere. Show your kiddies how it's done and pretty quickly they'll get the picture.
2. Show them what they are protecting
Head out into the garden, local parks, the countryside, beach or even the zoo - show your kiddies how valuable and beautiful nature is and what exactly is at stake when we don't protect it.
3. Cycle, scoot or walk instead of driving
OK... this is easier said than done, especially on a wet and windy school morning when it is so easy to jump in the car. BUT car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming - cars emit carbon dioxide and other nasty greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming and ultimately climate change. So next time you're being nagged by your kiddies to scoot to school, remember you're doing your bit for the environment too!
4. Show them how to save water and electricity
Encourage them to turn off lights when they leave a room or turn off the tap when they're brushing their teeth. Little actions that become habits can make a big difference.
5. Value experiences over things
So this isn't necessarily an easy one and it might not make you very popular! Admittedly some toys are great, they last, keep the kiddies entertained for hours and if they are helpful for learning then it's a bonus. But what about the drawers and boxes of plastic, most of which are destined for landfill all too quickly (particularly the dreaded party bag toys)!
Show them you care with a trip to the park or the cinema? Tea in a café for a treat or even just an ice-cream.
6. Get composting
Invest in a compost bin and show your kiddies how to dispose of their food scraps. Explain how the scraps will be turned into food for worms and how the process is saving the food from going into landfill. Not only will you be creating your own nutrient rich soil, it also reduces methane emissions that come from food waste in landfill, therefore lowering your carbon footprint.
OK, so not rocket science BUT show your kiddies how to recycle properly and why it's done that way. For guidance on what can be recycled check out the Recycle Now website.
8. When it comes to food, go nude
When you can, pack waste-free lunches and where possible limit the amount of individually wrapped food items you buy, therefore cutting down on the amount of waste. You could even try beeswax wraps as a substitute for clingfilm.
9. Avoid souvenirs made from animals
One of the biggest threats facing some of the world’s most iconic animals is poaching; elephants for their tusks, rhinos for their horns, turtles for their shells and tigers for almost any part of them! Teaching our kiddies that it's best to avoid buying any items made from scales, teeth, feathers, tortoise shells, seashells or coral can only help reduce our impact on the environment and encourage biodiversity to thrive.
10. Get out in the garden and get planting
As we (hopefully) see the weather start to warm up and dry out, getting our children busy in the garden from an early age will teach them about caring for the environment. No matter how much space you have - be it a single plant pot or a meadow - planting flowers and shrubs will provide a habitat for native bees, birds and other animals.
Why not have a lazy weekend and avoid mowing the lawn - leaving even part of your garden to grow wild can help pollinating insects, like bees, thrive.
Try planting herbs, vegetables and fruit and it might just have the added bonus of upping your kids' fruit and veg intake! Studies have suggested that children are more likely to try food that they have grown.
We can’t change the fate of our planet on our own but when we all come together, the impact can be huge. If everyone made small lifestyle changes it would add up to make a huge difference.
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