When it comes to saving the earth, there’s no such thing as too young

By Patricia B. Mirasol

I Am the Change in Climate Change, a children’s book written by geology professor Alyssa M. Peleo-Alampay, shows how sustainability and climate change can be tackled at an individual level.

Stewardship of the earth is taught in schools, said Ms. Peleo-Alampay, but not in a way that makes students feel that they can be part of the solution.

“The most important takeaway should be that the climate change we are experiencing today as global warming is not going to go away in our lifetime. It will take the earth some time to adjust since the change has already started,” she told BusinessWorld in an e-mail, adding that the Philippines is a country which is and will continue to be among the worst hit by global warming and climate change.

“The message of being good to, and taking care of, the earth will help improve our way of life for the present and the immediate future for our generation. It is a win-win situation.”

Aimed at children between six and twelve, the book includes interactive activities, environmental lessons, and illustrations by members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, a local association of artists.

It was produced with the help of Union Bank of Switzerland, which is also distributing the book in the communities it supports.

STARTING THEM YOUNG
Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Marian Ledesma said it’s never too early to educate children on climate change and sustainability, including through hands on-activities.

“Address misconceptions at an early age,” she said in a separate e-mail. “Allow kids to create their own content. You can get an idea of how they understand environmental problems and engage them from there.”

Filipinos are starting to walk the talk when it comes to sustainability, and companies are taking note. Corporations such as Monde Nissin, for instance, are giving their product development and innovation plans a health and sustainability emphasis by offering meat alternatives like Quorn, for example.

Others firms, like building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc., are offering more environment-friendly products such as blended cement.

Meanwhile, a 2021 survey by GlobeScan, an insight and strategy consultancy, noted that only 24% of experts believe the pandemic will make sustainability a lower priority, down from 49% in 2020.

A third of respondents also think that more attention will be given to the environment because of the pandemic.

As a Singaporean respondent from Singapore put it, “If the world can find the money to deal with the economic and health impacts of the pandemic, it must do the same for the climate crisis.”

Every purchase of I Am the Change in Climate Change is matched with book donations to two children from poor and disadvantaged communities in the Philippines in support of One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign, an initiative by the book’s publisher CANVAS.

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