This Thursday 22nd April, over 190 countries will mark Earth Day with the shared message to support our world by recovering the damage done and creating a better future. Now in its 51st year, Earth Day is a worldwide event to raise environmental awareness and put the spotlight on innovation and restoration. Bringing together activitists, politicians, campaigners, artists and influencers across all ages and industries, the scheme invites anyone to find a local event, fundraise, volunteer or simply read and absorb the amazing power of people to create change.
When headlines feature climate related disasters and a growing number of vocal campaigners voice their concerns in the media, many of us turn to children's books to raise awareness amongst the next generation. The message is clear; take care of our planet today as we don't have another chance and restoration is key to the future for our children and beyond.
The theme has long been popular in children's books, but there has been a renewed vigour in the past few years with positive climate messages abundant in baby books, stories and non-fiction. There is meaning to be found in all of the books chosen below to mark Earth Day, some featuring inspiring case studies, others highlighting plastic pollution or simply encouraging gardening to get outdoors and support our favourite buzzy bees. Scroll down for my favourites and check out our 10 ways to help the environment.
In this book you will meet 12 real children who have made inspiring changes to their communities and to the planet. Felix in Germany is passionate about reforestation and launched Plant for the Planet when he was just nine years old, he was so successful that a few years later over one million trees had been planted in nearly one hundred different countries. Himangi from India is a campaigner for reducing the effects of traffic pollution outside her school, her ideas to encourage cycling instead of driving also resulted in cars and rickshaws waiting in better places to make it safer for children. This is a book with huge potential to ignite ambitious children to follow in their footsteps! Old Enough to Save the Planet, £ 12.99.
Written by celebrated environmentalist and climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti, this bumper non-fiction book is about changing the world for the better and making the difference that will ensure our future planet is healthier, safer and protected. Talking through what climate change means, this book covers the causes, the affects and the positive actions that can combat destructive behaviours and actively inspire change. For every book sold in the UK, a tree will be planted! Full of bright illustrations and easy to read passages of text, it is one for the whole family. 'Climate Action' £19.99.
This is one of my new favourites for it's simplicity, positivity and sheer joy! Noticing that the town is grey (no doubt from pollution, building sites and a lack of green spaces) Omar and his new friend Maisie are inspired by homemade honey cake and decide to create a bee corridor to repopulate the town with bees and beautiful flowers. This is a simple sustainability story that says so much about community, friendship and nature, plus there is a pretty tasty Honey cake recipe at the back. 'Omar and the Bees' £7.99
You are never too young to save the planet which is why this fun board book make my top five books for Earth Day. Illustrated by Sophie Beer, the characteristic cheerful imagery is full of diverse mini activists who are all doing their bit to tackle climate change. Change starts with...planting trees, saving water, eating less meat, re-using and recycling. All of these community acts are helping young people to grow up in a better world and this book is a lovely introduction for babies and toddlers. 'Change Starts with Us' £6.99
This wild adventure highlights the importance of clean waters for our sea life to survive. Beach cleaning operations collect hundreds of thousands of tonnes of litter which prevents nasty bacteria and harmful rubbish from entering the waters and reducing numbers of fish, turtles and sharks. Join a family on a lively and turtle spotting trip and see how human waste contributes to over 50% of turtles ingesting plastic which threatens their existence. A lovely story with fun facts and a positive eco message for your next family read! 'Turtle Rescue' £12.99
TOP TEN CLIMATE CHANGE TIPS TO RESTORE OUR PLANET
- Pick up litter wherever you go
- Unplug things in your home wherever possible
- Carry re-usable bags, bottles and cups
- Swap the car for walking, cycling or scooting
- Use long-lasting light bulbs
- Eat less meat
- Support sustainable brands
- Stop using household cleaners with toxic ingredients
- Never flush anything apart from toilet paper!
Want to know more about Earth Day and tap into three days of interactive, virtual climate change content? Check out all of the work and events happening at www.earthday.org. You can also discover lots of community driven ideas at Brightly.eco and find some fun outdoor family activities on the Rambling Dad blog here.