Hey Planet Earth, your heroes have arrived. Just in the nick of time. They are strong, determined, courageous, caring, and a bit angry, justifiably. Did I mention they are kids? They’re being called the Climate Kids. Not only are these kids leading the pack in the fight against Climate change, they are the pack! These informed youth are tired of waiting around for adults to facilitate the changes needed to address our climate crisis, so they’re taking things into their own hands. This new generation is ready and prepared to save their planet so that there is an actual planet left for them.
Behind, and in front of this now global movement, is Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, the modern day Pippi Longstocking: fearless, independent and not afraid to question and call out the adults in the room. Kids around the world are being inspired by Greta and her mission to save the planet, and they’re sprouting up everywhere like little seeds, with the same message that they will not sit down until real steps are taken to fight Climate change. NYC has its own 13 year-old superstar, Alexandria Villasenor who’s been standing tall with her sign outside of the UN building for the past few months.
When my daughter saw me writing this and read the first paragraph, she said, “but you’re not a kid.” Good point. But I’m a parent, and I’m deeply concerned about my kids, and all kids. I’m also concerned about the health of our planet, and the people and animals living on it.
That’s why I’ll be taking my kids out of school and joining the worldwide School Strike 4 Climate on March 15th! To keep the momentum going, Greta, Alexandria and thousands of other kids will skip school on this day and come together in cities and towns across the world to demand real action and solutions to the climate crisis. I hope you will all join because….To Change Everything, We Need Everyone.
The fact that this movement is specifically encouraging kids to skip school is the essence of this strike. If the true purpose of education and schooling is to teach kids to be informed, engaged, and knowledgeable critical thinkers, then what better real-world opportunity is there than this? It teaches kids that they are in charge of their future; they have input on how others shape it for them. That their choices and actions matter for themselves, and for others. That they can organize, collaborate and come up with viable solutions collectively. That they are smart, capable and can use their voice to make a difference. That on this day, instead of sitting in a classroom discussing the abcs of Climate change, they can actually get out and do something about it on a public stage for all the world to see and hear, and hopefully listen. Participating in this climate strike empowers kids to be solutionaries.
There are many things families can do to create a healthier planet including eating less meat and dairy, conserving energy and resources in our homes, taking public transportation/walking/biking, creating less waste by reducing and reusing everything from containers, bags, clothes, toys, and other products. At the family level we can, and should all strive to make MOGO (Most Good, Least Harm) choices. Going beyond individual choices, this Climate Strike is focused on pressuring world leaders and governments to prioritize our climate crisis, and changing underlying systems on a deep, international scale.
This is a wake-up call to parents. Time is running out and we need all kids (and parents!) onboard. Please join, spread the word, and help empty our schools for just one day, on March 15th…it just might be the tipping point needed to address our climate crisis.
For inspiration and motivation for your kids, show pictures and watch videos of Greta, Alexandria, and other kids in action, show age-appropriate YouTube clips of animals affected by Climate change, make signs together, and make this a positive experience; kids should feel empowered, not hopeless. When kids have knowledge combined with motivation and inspiration, they will feel ready and prepared to make a difference. These are the kids that will take over the world… but before they can do that, they need to save the world.
For more information and to find a school strike in your local area, check out US Youth Climate Strike or Fridays for Future.