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How to take climate action from your windowsill

Even while staying inside, there’s so much kids can learn about the earth and how to protect it.

Erin Johnston
May 19, 2020

The days are getting warmer, the grass is getting greener, and yet we’re not spending our weekends in the park or making plans to go hiking with friends. Instead, we’re all making an effort to stay home and beat COVID-19. With all this time spent at home, it’s easy to start feeling disconnected from the environment. But you don’t have to feel this way! Whether you have a backyard, a balcony, or even just a windowsill, there are many ways that kids and their families can learn about the environment and take climate action from indoors. Engaging kids in conversations about the environment and climate change at an early age will help set them on the path to making a positive impact in the future.

Here are 5 things you can do to reconnect with the earth from home:

1. Learn something new on YouTube

Who hasn’t been spending extra time on YouTube these days? Take a break from the videos you normally watch and swap them for some eco-themed tutorials. On our channel, we’ll show you how to build your own weather station to measure wind speed and water levels using a micro:bit or how to code your own recycling-themed video game with Scratch. Who knows, maybe these activities will give you an idea for your own environment-themed coding project!

2. Explore nature virtually during an online coding workshop

What if we told you that you could get all the fun out of camping without leaving your home? No mosquitos, no thunderstorms, no sunburns! In our nature-themed online Code Create Play workshops, kids use code to go bird-watching, fishing, and learn about Canadian animals’ habitats.

Thanks to this coder who participated in one of our @scratch workshops, you can go birdwatching from the comfort of your own home! Try it out: #ScratchMonth #ScratchAtHome

— Kids Code Jeunesse (@KidsCoding) May 17, 2020

3. Take climate action with code

Our friends at InkSmith Education Technology are making it easier for kids to get hands-on with code while learning about climate change thanks to their Climate Action Kit. From building a hydroponic lettuce growing system to using code to measure the water usage and soil health of your house plants, all of the projects can be done indoors and come with accompanying lesson plans which dive deeper into environmental studies and climate action.

"Creating meaningful learning experiences at home is an important part of keeping kids engaged and interested during these unprecedented times.” says Jeremy Hedges, CEO of InkSmith.

“With the Climate Action Kit, kids will be empowered to tackle climate change issues by building their own robotic solutions that combat real-world environmental problems - right from their own home."

Members of the KCJ community (that’s you!) can save 5% on kits with the discount code KCJCAK.

4. Make your voice heard

Though we’re all remaining physically distant, kids can still speak up about important issues and make their voices heard. Students around the world continue to strike for the climate every Friday, a movement started by Greta Thunberg. Instead of meeting together to protest, they’ve now moved their strike online.

Kids can take this time to write to their mayor or local member of Parliament to let them know what changes they want to see in the world. Every action counts, no matter how small, or at what age!

5. Put your green thumb to work

Growing our own food is one of the best things we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprints, and the movement is gaining popularity. More community gardens are popping up in cities to give those who don’t have yards a way of growing their own affordable produce. Though Montreal initially made the decision to close their community gardens during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Valérie Plante fought to have them reopened, citing the importance of food security.

While many of us don’t have access to sprawling vegetable gardens, all you need is a windowsill to start growing your own veggies. Try planting your own fresh herbs or even re-growing food scraps. Watching plants grow is a great way for kids to better understand nature and feel more connected to the earth (our collective home!).

Even though we can’t wait until we can all get back outside, there’s still so much we can do to protect our earth, right from our homes. At KCJ, we’ve integrated the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development into everything we do through our #kids2030 initiative. We believe that Artificial Intelligence, coding, and technology can play a significant role in positively altering the course of climate change and we want to empower kids to lead the way.

If you try any of our suggestions, we’d love to see! Tag us on social media so we can share what the KCJ community is creating.