Green culture and kids

This morning, Little Cheap was playing “bookstore.” I went into the “store” to choose some books and toys for my fictitious niece, Duck, who fictitiously likes birds and elephants.

The shopkeeper, Aryana (we’ll discuss the political implications of that spelling later), made some recommendations for me to purchase, including the book “Duck for President” (“it’s hilarious, even for adults”) and a toy elephant.

I handed over my toy money. She wrote up a receipt. Then she put my purchases into an American Girl bag that I accepted in New York to hold our American Girl purchase, so that Little Cheap could have it as a souvenir.

This bag does not come from my store,” the “shopkeeper” said. “I use all bags that I’ve gotten from other places. I’m doing the ‘green project’ this year.”

She said “green project” complete with finger-punctuation marks.

I know she’s getting the “green project” from me. But this exchange made me think that she’s noticing it in the world, too.

How do you see “green projects” affecting kids? Or not? Is there hope, yet?


8 thoughts on “Green culture and kids

  1. jessimonster says:

    I know when I was a kid something happened that made the green movement affect me profoundly (of course it wasn’t called the green movement then, and it was way more underground than it is now). I’m not sure what it was, because neither of my parents were really into environmentalism, but somewhere along the way I ended up with a copy of 50 Simple Things a Kid Can Do to Save the Earth and my fate was set in stone.
    I’d like my son to have the same kind of experience one day. I hope that I will be an inspiration to him. He is too little now to understand – he’s just a baby – but I am already trying to teach him. To show him the beauty of the world. To alter my habits (even with my lifelong passion for the environment, my life isn’t perfectly green) in order to set a good example for him.
    Like the commercials say, learning starts long before school.
    Your little girl is sweet. Using the finger quotes and everything, how cute. What a fun game.

  2. erin says:

    What a cute and awesome story. Green thinking seems so prevalent in your life, how could it not rub off? All I can say is that my kids are getting that some things go in the garbage can but other things go in the compost and in the recycling bins. Nothing quotable that I can think of. 🙂

  3. Verda Vivo says:

    Children learn by example. I called son today who is 24. In the middle of the conservation he complained about his girlfriend throwing away recyclables in the garbage. I don’t remember specifically talking to him about recycling but we always did it at home. I’d like to think our children will change the world for the better. Little Cheap sounds like she’s off to a great start! ~ Daryl

  4. organicneedle says:

    I think they get it. My 2 & 4 year old just accept certain things like shopping with our own bags, buying organic, recycling, etc. as how daily life is lived. They don’t see it as a project..just life. I think the best thing we can do is talk with & listen to them all the time about everything we do…cooking, shopping, playing. My little ones shock me with their understanding of the world.

  5. cheaplikeme says:

    It’s true, kids have their own sense of the world! And how they live is how they think life IS lived. That’s why it’s all the more important to teach them this stuff at an early age … as Verda Vivo pointed out!

  6. twofish4 says:

    I have two sons that are picking up on my vocabulary as well. I heard my son tell his friend that “buying new toys all the time was a bad idea because it was bad for the enviroment and the kids who make them”.
    I wonder though if they pick up only bits and pieces of our “green” voice will they be able to digest it properly or are we only frightening them?

  7. cheaplikeme says:

    @twofish, I think we have to be careful they understand. My daughter had become very frightened of flooding. It turns out she had heard that global warming will cause sea levels to rise (not sure if she heard it from us, but she did hear about it at school). It took me a while to figure out that was why she was afraid – and then I could reassure her that we in Colorado will not suffer that particular problem — the oceans won’t flood us. Then she recovered.

Comments are closed.