April 22nd is Earth Day, the biggest secular observance in the world, drawing in over a billion people to drive action on climate change and preserving our fragile ecosystems.
Last night we finished watching the BBC series Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World ; you can’t help being struck by, not just the extraordinary drive, but the vulnerability of this incredible young woman who has woken an entire generation to the desperate need for climate action. Greta’s now 18, but so many of her followers are much, much younger.
As a parent it’s a tricky one, I want our daughter to engage but not to be having endless sleepless nights. There’s so much footage on social media with haunting videos of rainforests being decimated, of floods and fires – kids really can’t escape what’s going on. I think that children need to feel that they are personally making some kind of a difference. When the Australian bush fires raged in 2019-2020, Imi and a couple of her school mates (all aged around 12) cooked and sold 30 portions of dal to raise money for the Australian Red Cross; the girls enjoyed the process, they felt empowered and knew that they’d helped a little.
Photographs by Kirstie Young (Green Kids Cook)
In the same way, focusing on ways to be greener in our homes isn’t just about doing our bit for the planet (which is obviously crucial right now), it’s also really vital for children to feel that they’re doing something to help turn things around.
Food plays such a huge role in how we look after our world: from emissions to soil health, deforestation to polluting our oceans – it’s also something we, and our families, can begin to tackle on a day to day basis, and enjoy the process too.
So, I wrote a cook book for the 7-14’s – as well as being a recipe book, Green Kids Cook has some pages with tips and facts about food waste, cutting out plastic, planting for bees, eating more veg’, shopping locally and much more. Illustrator Jem Venn has done a truly wonderful job of bringing these pages to life – here’s a fab’ example where we look at different types of food waste.
Sadly, you won’t be able to snap up Green Kids Cook in time for Earth Day, it will be available from July 1st, but you could pre-order it here , or at your local bookshop!
I’d love it if you could spread the word too xx
I’ll share the recipe for veg’ peel crisps tomorrow