This topic of arousing behaviour change through our children, or through our inner child is really branching out on the internet. After all, kids and young people are obsessed with having fun, aren't they?
Hanging around kids teaches us to bring out our gaming and playful spirit, so young people can be our best resource for ideas. (I know as my 14 year old son is just games obsessed - sadly, nowadays, games of the mostly electronic kind).
Children and young person's books are a great context as well as with feature films like the Wall E movie. A good friend of mine is writing and illustrating her own books using Scribble Press, and the occasional hints (very subtle I might add) such as about picking up after yourself and avoiding littering, are done very well.
Kids can make up quizzes along the lines of subjects they find amusing - eg games, jokes or quizzes where they find out about methane gas, and fun sewerage facts (and for the littlies, blind-fold games with trees/scents, researching butterflies, frogs and which plants they figure they are attracted to). There are sustainability board games, and no doubt computer games, too, galore on these themes. But we as adults can build games, events and competitions in to our lives that inspire sustainability or that even flag it as an incidental element.
For us adults, there are competitions at work to see how much we can bring down petrol use per kilometres or miles travelled (and this can be more fun if done while car-pooling to work), fashion reborn events - where people compete in recycled period dress, elegant after-five, etc sourced from local up-market vintage or op shops. Fashion swap parties are becoming very popular - 'swishing', UK - look this up. Men can increase their networks by meeting at computer, sports or other swap events - environmental sustainability often goes hand in hand with social and economic sustainability. Get that computer item you need, and make a new friend.
So next time you're thinking - how can we make sustainability fun, why not ask your daughter or nephew - as they are more likely to be putting their right brains, and imagination to good use!
On the radio I was listening to a couple of Mer-people who were using their status as mermaids to not only entertain kids, but also to get them thinking and learning about marine life issues. Why would mermaids and mermen be seen as enticing kids and young people to take an interest in the environment? Well, they're literally immersed in it all the time, and there is something arcane and other worldly about them, that kids find fascinating. It's their nexus with nature which makes them seem like the supreme authority on their natural surroundings, so why wouldn't kids be taken in by what they say? There is that element of glamour as well which no doubt gets the audience in.
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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