How Generation Z Is Teaching Us To Address Climate Change

How Generation Z Is Teaching Us To Address Climate Change

Author: Becci Goodall

Last month as my roommate and I were drilling holes in our compost bin with her kids Lu-Lu and Cedar, I was reminded how children are natural environmentalists. As we seeded the bin with vegetable scraps and red wigglers, they gently dropped the clumps of worms and giggled at the feel of the squiggles on their fingers. We chatted about the importance of growing our own organic food and using our food scraps to build a compost that will nourish our garden. As our Saturday morning meandered along, we talked about how every little action makes a difference for the health of the planet.

My kids are grown, so having these kinds of discussions with generation Z was strikingly different. Even though the kids are young they seemed far more aware of the fact that our planet needs help now. They’ve seen YouTube videos and movies in school about the effects of plastics and pollutions on animals and oceans. They are certainly more passionate and engaged than I remember my kids being. I think it is largely due to this age of social media, kids are more easily able to make an impact and be heard. They also understand that there is no time to waste when it comes to saving the planet and they are holding adults to account by reminding us that we can no longer afford to borrow from their future.

Greta Thunberg is one stunning example of how kids are taking the future of the planet into their own hands in very powerful ways. She’s managed to mobilize a movement and get the attention of world leaders with her articulate, passionate voice regarding climate change. My favorite quote of hers is: “It is still not too late to act. It will take a far-reaching vision, it will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now, to lay the foundations where we may not know all the details about how to shape the ceiling. In other words, it will take cathedral thinking.” If you haven’t heard of Greta you can check out her Ted talk it will inspire and ignite your passion to do more in every area of your life.

Sometimes it’s easy to become lackadaisical in our lives as we hustle through our days. I know that I was in that space, but I have been so urgently inspired by this young woman and the kids in my life to do everything I can. I started biking and walking to appointments when I’m able and bought a hybrid for the times I must drive. I’ve committed to cut down on flying cross country for business meetings to reduce my carbon footprint. I’ve also convinced the tech startup I work for to commit to as little flying as possible, and I gotta say I don’t miss going through security at all; not even a teensy bit!  So, thank you to all the youth who are inspiring businesses and adults to truly get after addressing climate change with daily purposeful action and intention.

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