Dawn Green – Writer

Weaving words worldwide

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Why ecological literacy is important for kids

I am delighted to feature another fabulous guest post from Ella Andrews – this one tells us how essential it is for our children to understand build a relationship with nature.

Why ecological literacy is important for kids3

Mother Nature is very important for our future. A major part of our future are our kids. We must teach them ecological literacy so as to make them learn how important it is to take care of the environment. Being introduced to nature from when they are little children will help develop in them a deep love and solicitude for their surrounding environment.

While young, kids explore and discover a lot of new things. We can help them expand their knowledge by showing them outdoor activities. The best way is if we have a garden on our property or take them to any of the nearest parks. Once we find a suitable place to play with our kids, we must do some preparations first. Playing outside may be dangerous so we have to do some efficient garden clearance first. Kids will be happy to see how plants smell and how the bees are alighting on them so take them on a trip in a garden that has lots of different flowers.

Once our kids see the beauty of nature, it is almost certain that they will turn into an adult who appreciates the small things and will take care of the natural world. Ecological literacy is important for our kids because if we lose nature, we will be lost too. Each living creature on the planet can’t survive without water and food and this is something that our kids must learn from childhood. Teaching them to take care and respect nature is maybe one of the most important lessons we have to teach them.

Planting some flowers will be very interesting to them, with this you can show them how to take care of something. After some time they will see the growth of their flowers and you will be surprised how satisfied they will be.

Another interesting thing for your kids will be for them to meet a gardener. A gardening professional will help you with not only the lawn care but also may help you with ecological education for your children.

Meeting with nature face-to-face, kids can see the different elements of our surrounding environment working together. Even doing some patio cleaning will show them how to take care of the world around them.

A good ecological literacy is something that is a must for every person in the world. As youngsters, we start understanding the importance of taking care of nature, and we can call ourselves decent people who know what is important for our health in the future. Many schools have classes that show the kids how to take care of nature. All the books and videos won’t educate kids on ecological literacy as much as looking at their parents doing some gardening outdoors and spending time playing in nature.


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The Ultimate Guide for the Green Parent

The following is a guest post from Ella Andrews on green parenting – a topic that is near and true to my heart.

Thanks Ella!


Credit:  moralfibres.co.uk

Embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle and being a parent at the same time can seem like a tough task. Even the zealous green activist will find it challenging when it comes to the enormous piles of laundry and the infinite numbers of diapers that need to be changed on a daily basis. A little dedication and determination can take you a long way. Green parenting is a great way to help the planet, while raising a healthy and environmentally conscious child. The following basic green parenting ideas can get you started. Of course, these tips are not prescriptive and depend on your parenting style.

  1. Eco-friendly Diapers

If you decide to ditch the conventional disposable diapers, there are several green options for your changing table. The most obvious choice is cloth diapers. These solutions have come a long way since your grandma used them. You can wash them at home or at a local diapering service. Don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning diapers every day? Pick eco-friendly, disposable ones. These green diapers are made without fragrances, latex or chlorine. The Diapers Free movement is another alternative that might take some time and effort. You need to learn to recognize when your baby needs to “go” and take care of the business. The advantage of this method is early potty training.

  1. Wipes

Let’s talk about the other baby product that you use on a daily basis – the wipes. This is your best friend when it comes to efficiently and professionally cleaning the mess. Disposable wipes are filled with chemicals that are bad for both your child and the environment. Pick ones that contain only organic ingredients. To be completely sure that your wipes are safe, make them yourself. You will need a roll of heavy duty paper or cloths if you want reusable wipes, 1 ¾ cups of boiled water, 1 table spoon of pure aloe vera and the same amount of pure Witch Hazel, olive or almond oil, Liquid Castille soap. Fold the paper or cloth wipes in a container and pour the mixture.

  1. Toys and Baby Accessories

When selecting your child’s playthings, keep in mind that your baby likes to touch everything and put toys in their mouths. Your best bet is wooden and organic cloth items. Most plastic objects including the baby bottles contain Bisphenol-A, which is an artificial estrogen. Look for wooden toys with water base-stains or unfinished solid wood. As for the cloth items, get products made out of organic cotton and other natural fabrics.

  1. Cleaning Products

Cut the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, by choosing eco- friendly alternatives you can find on the market or in your kitchen cabinet. Make your own green cleaners by using nontoxic ingredients such as lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and borax. If you are not into homemade cleaners, you can find great organic alternatives on the market.

  1. General Green Tips
  • Reuse, reduce and recycle – borrow or buy gently used items you will need only for a short period like bouncers and cribs.
  • Recycle bottles, clothes and paper.
  • Green eating habits- breastfeeding and organic food are super healthy for your baby.


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Risky parenting – the debate

My friend and I debated this the other day, as we meandered in a wetlands, collecting rubbish at the insistence of her four-year-old. While her two daughters and mine galloped around, touched pricky bushes, tripped over and dusted themselves off again, we pondered what exactly risky parenting meant to each of us.

While it’s easy to talk about allowing kids to jump off rocks, take risks and be responsible, it’s  also so true that when you are actually a parent, and you’re actually talking about your own daughter or son, it’s a whole different ballgame compared to sitting on the sidelines and judging other parents for the decisions they make.

So while I do feel strongly that kids need to have more freedom to roam (think Free-Range kids) and not be faced with ‘helicopter parents’ always hovering close by, the thought of one day letting Jarrah hurl down a mountain bike track on her own or walk home from the library without me turns my blood to ice. That crazy strong protective instinct kicks in and I just want to shelter her from the world.

Photo: justinjensen/Flickr

Photo: justinjensen/Flickr

Yet, as Katie Arnold writes so eloquently in a recent article in Outside Magazine, at the end of the day it’s all about making responsible decisions for our children’s safety while allowing them to expand and grow.

“But we can’t slow our children down. Not really. Their whole purpose in life is to grow and change and need us less until they hardly need us at all. We can urge caution in the moment and good judgment over time, but we can’t arrest their development. At times we cheer their progress, at others we’re heartbroken by how quickly they are changing. Either way, it’s our job to help them grow so we can let them go. The hardest thing about being a parent is knowing where to draw the line between reasonable, healthy risk and careless negligence, between hands-on guidance and helicopter parenting.” (Katie Arnold, 2015)

And my friend and I agreed. We don’t sweat when our kids trip and fall, and getting dirty is cherished and promoted, so we feel we are on the right track. Will I still fret when Jarrah goes off on her first crazy wilderness experience on her own? You betcha, but the important thing is that I will be there to hug her when she gets back and share in her excitement, after all, that’s what parenthood is all about.