Now that April is here and it's slowly starting to feel like spring in New York, I've got helping the environment on my mind. (Technically Earth Day isn't until April 22, but shouldn't we be thinking of ways to better our planet all year long anyway?) So I was excited to find out that HBO is airing another piece of their six-part documentary Saving My Tomorrow this Earth Day. The special, which was created in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History, is a call from kids to other kids to help take care of our world. While it features several readings and performances by celebrities—including Alan Cumming, Laura Dern and Pete Seeger—the real stars of the show are the children from all over the world, many of whom have done amazing things. They're recycling, planting trees, and cleaning beaches. And some of them have even gone above and beyond by creating petitions to ban plastic bags, giving public speeches, and joining in marches to raise awareness. While the adults are still squabbling about whether or not global warming is a real issue, these little ones are getting stuff done. I'm impressed.
One moment that really struck me during Saving My Tomorrow was when 9-year-old Abby—who uses the profits from her lemonade stand to buy seeds—made a comment about how grown-ups have gotten the kids into this mess, and it's going to be on the kids to clean it up. And she's right—every second that we waste, the situation grows more dire. The Northeast is being hit with colder, snowier winters while California is forced to enact water restrictions to deal with droughts. But with kids like Abby taking action, I'm hopeful that the younger generation will be better at solving this problem.
I can't stress enough how important it is to teach today's kids about global warming and taking care of the planet. And you don't have to make a speech in front of city hall to make a difference. Your family can help in small ways, like turning lights and electronics off, using reusable lunch boxes, containers, and water bottles rather than paper bags and plastic bottles, and recycling your waste rather than throwing it away. (Want more ideas for going green? We've got tips and suggestions here and here.) With these actions, you're not only helping the Earth, but you're also showing your kids that being environmentally-friendly is important to you, and that every individual can have an impact on the world.
Check out the trailer for Saving My Tomorrow:
PS: Don't forget Earth Day's other big release this year: Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom follows Maya and her baby, who must leave their home in the jungle of South Asia and relocate to a big city. See it during opening week and Disney will make a donation to Conversation International, an environmental nonprofit.
How is your family making a difference this spring? Tell us in the comments!
Chrisanne Grise is an editorial assistant at Parents. While she doesn't have kids of her own yet, she is the proud "mom" of a furry little corgi. Follow her on Twitter @xanne.
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