Earth to Kids: Create Your Future

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by: Joel Makower

I’m not a big fan of most environmental Web sites, books, and other educational materials aimed at kids. I’m not talking about science education, or lessons about the birds and the trees. I’m referring to materials that try to foment action: to get kids to care, and act, on environmental issues in their everyday lives.

What’s the problem? Most folks talk down to kids, assuming that if it’s not simple, warm, and fuzzy, it’s not learnable or doable. But kids are smarter than that. They understand the randomness of things; they can connect the dots.

And so I was thrilled to discover a newly launched site out of Japan that is the best site I’ve seen on green topics. It’s so clear and thoughtful that practically any grown-up will find it of value, too.

Create Your Future was created by Japan For Sustainability, goes through some of the basics: what’s happening to the seas, the forests, and all creatures great and small. But the centerpiece of the site — “New Ideas for the Earth” — is where it excels. The dozen topics include such provocative concepts as: “How to have a car without owning it” . . . “How to create a city without automobiles” . . . “Buying the function, not the product itself” . . . and “How we learn from nature.” That last one is, in effect, a lesson on biomimicry.

Can we get all of our business and political readers to scour this site?

In any case, I urge you to. It’s a great resource for us all.

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