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.”