100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Talking to Kids about Climate Change
At dinner the other night, my young daughter put me on the spot when she asked, “What did you learn at work today, Mommy?”Whether she was genuinely interested in my day or attempting to deflect the nightly interrogation about kindergarten, I faced a tough decision. How do I explain climate change, toxic pollution, and salmon extinction—topics I explore during a typical day at Columbia Riverkeeper—to a five-year-old?
Enter Mary DeMocker. In “The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” DeMocker lays out a lively, empowering, and doable blueprint for engaging families in the urgent endeavor of climate revolution. In the book’s brief, action-packed chapters, you’ll learn hundreds of wide- ranging ideas for being part of the revolution, from freeing yourself from dead-end science debates, to teaching kids about the power of creative protest, to changing your lifestyle in ways that deepen family bonds and reduce your impact on the Earth.
Here’s a sneak peek of DeMocker’s tips:
- Talk to your kids about system change, not just changing the light bulbs.
- You don’t have to become eco-superheroes. Supporting existing efforts and innovations makes a difference and makes sense for busy families.
- Move money from big banks that fund oil pipelines to community credit unions that invest in clean energy while supporting local businesses and schools.
- Amplify the voices of those most impacted by the climate crisis: young people.
- Be part of the 3.5 percent. That’s the percentage of the population needed to spark successful non-violent movements, so join a grassroots group.
The guide includes 100 chapters divided into eight sections, such as “Save Time and Money,”“Care For Your Soul,” and “Raise Empowered Kids.”You can read it start to finish, or crack it open and see what title appeals to you. Each chapter has a short story—DeMocker chose the funniest or most moving moments from her 21 years of parenting—and ends with two to 10 ideas for busy parents to try.
When asked, “Aren’t parents too busy to take on climate change?” DeMocker responds, “We are so busy, aren’t we? That’s why we need easy, affordable, fun ideas that fit into busy family lives. Many of the ideas take only a minute or two and cost very little or nothing. I want to emphasize that this book isn’t about doing more. It’s about doing some things a little differently.” As a tired mom of a two-year-old that hasn’t slept through the night in nine months, that’s exactly what I need to hear. Happy, empowered reading.
This feature was originally published in
River Currents 2018 Issue 2 Newsletter – Read it Now
The Climate Issue: Why Does Climate Change Matter to the Columbia?; How We Fight–and Win; Talking to Kids about Climate Change; and more.