An Inconvenient Youth

Wall Street Journal

‘Mom, we gotta buy a hybrid!’ Kids are becoming the green movement’s stealth weapon, pressuring their parents on everything from lightbulbs to composting. Inside the push to create the littlest eco-warriors.

Inconvenient Youths: Eco-warrior kids go after parents for ‘environmental offenses’

Excerpt: In households across the country, kids are going after their parents for environmental offenses, from using plastic cups to serving non-grass-fed beef at the dinner table. Many of these kids are getting more explicit messages about becoming eco-warriors at school and from popular books and movies. This year’s global-warming documentary “Arctic Tale,” for instance, closes with a child actor telling kids, “If your mom and dad buy a hybrid car, you’ll make it easier for polar bears to get around.”

Kids on field trips to the Garbage Museum in Stratford, Conn., are sent home with instructions to recycle cans, bottles, newspaper and junk mail. The museum hosted 388 schools visits last year, 42 more than the year before. At one California elementary school, kids are given environmental activities to do with their families — including one where parents have to yank out the refrigerator and clean the coils to make it more energy efficient.

“Kids are putting pressure on their parents, and this is a very good thing,” says Laurie David, a producer of the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Ms. David is the co-author of a new children’s book, “The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming,” which urges kids, among other things, to petition mom and dad for recycled-fiber toilet paper.

“I know how powerful my kids are,” she says. “When they want something, forget it — all the resistance in the world isn’t going to help you.”

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Inconvenient Youths: Eco-warrior kids go after parents for ‘environmental offenses’

4 Responses to An Inconvenient Youth

  1. Jayne September 30, 2007 at 7:55 pm #

    And here I thought my children were the only ones blessed with a mother who rose a broomstick while recycling,composting and shredding financial statements into the vegie garden.

  2. gavin October 1, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    “The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming,” which urges kids, among other things, to petition mom and dad for recycled-fiber toilet paper could be a bit naïve on the mechanics of the fiber in loo paper. Well beaten pulp from the recycle pool is way too short for that critical vertical rip strength on the roll down.

    Beware of cheap imports that need tripling hand over hand. There is nothing worse than a plucking a handful of streamers from the clinical dispenser in this high speed life between thinking stages.

    Our top Oz brand relies on fresh pine from the mountains to maintain each way web strength. Good competition does likewise. Pine pulp was always cheaper to refine than recycled bulk waste.

    Although all tissue grades are designed to break down in the sewer some are definitely better to use than others. Let’s continue to “Do Away With Newspaper” once common in the country thunder box.

    Jayne may wish to consider what happens to our chain store packaging.

  3. Ian Mott October 3, 2007 at 1:20 am #

    Parents often get the kids they deserve. If they ever try that crap on me I’ll spend their inheritance.

  4. Jayne October 3, 2007 at 4:21 pm #

    Chain store packaging Gavin?
    What’s that?!

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