Have you had the “climate change conversation” with your teen or college student? What do they think about the earth’s future, and your role and their’s in protecting and nurturing it? Our intern Michelle decided to find out what some of her college friends were thinking. Check out their responses and then “check in” with your kids and let us know what they are thinking…!
Guest post by Michelle Aboodi
Soon enough children and teenagers alike will be packing for school, teachers will be preparing lesson plans, and parents will get ready for the routine – the
To follow the question on students understanding of climate change, I asked what they felt their environmental responsibility is. All students consciously knew that they should make an effort to have zero impact on the earth, but they do not seem to have an adequate knowledge base or sufficient access to the tools that allow for a “greener” environment (i.e. recycling, composting, alternative fuels).
Similarly, the third question connected to the second: how do you participate in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability? The small things seem to be what people do – turning off lights, unplugging electronics, recycling when possible, and not using plastic bags. The basic actions are taken, but all that students are doing are what they can do without taking on their own initiatives. If infrastructures were put in place everywhere like recycling and composting, people would become naturally inclined to do more.
The last question was more personal: What are three things you might tell your parents about your hopes/fears as they relate to sustainability, climate change, and the earth’s future? Students’ worries are real and relate to fear that the future is not so bright. With extreme weather and heightened disaster, students do not want to suffer because of history’s mistakes. One student puts it best when she says, “Three things I hope for are: One, that people learn to care about the environment and their impact. Two – that fewer corporations continue to lobby for non-sustainable energy sources. Three – that we don’t end up destroying the planet and having to live on Mars.”
Michelle Aboodi is our summer intern at ClimateMama and a student at New York University.