“Young people around the world are cracking open the heart of the climate crisis, speaking of a deep longing for a future they thought they had but that is disappearing with each day that adults fail to act on the reality that we are in an emergency.” – Naomi Klein: On Fire
The recent pandemic and resulting social distancing restrictions have created space for many to consider what’s really important in all of our lives.
Now, while countries around the world make localised plans to slowly move out of lockdown, and the phrase “the new normal” has become somewhat of a buzzword, it begs the question… what was “normal” to begin with?
Image by Brenna Quinlan
We have the chance to ask ourselves: what do we want this “new normal” to be? What if we could use this as an opportunity to shape the future differently, where we prioritise health, the earth and community over profits, mindless consumerism and wealth for the few?
“Because infinite growth on a planet of finite resources is unsustainable” – Charlie Thompson, Earth Collective.
Who better to help inspire and guide our thinking than the next generation of eco-warriors?
We are under no illusion that there is plenty we can learn from young minds when it comes to safeguarding the future health of the planet and the people in it.
So, while the adults of the world look to the future and wonder just how different this “new normal” will be, we wanted to open up the floor to the people this matters to the most: children.
Our actions today directly influence what their world will look like tomorrow.
If your child loves to write, would like to see their work published on Earth Collective and would like to show us adults what matters the most to them in the world, we would like to invite them to write a letter to their future self – just like Sophia has done below.
The letter should start with: “When I grow up, I will look after the Earth by…”.
Letters received by midnight (AEST) 20 May 2020 will be published right here.
“When I Grow Up, I Will Look After The Earth By…” – Sophia (aged 9), UK
“When I grow up, I will look after the world by making sure that I:
Recycle correctly as to not create more non-recyclable waste, try to borrow, reuse and fix things to reduce the number of things I buy and throw away.
If I see rubbish lying around outside of my home, I will put it in the bin to keep outside areas nice for others, though always remembering to wash my hands after.
Remember to turn off the tap when cleaning my teeth to not waste water and turn off the lights when I leave a room to not waste energy.
If I need to visit the supermarket I will use my own shopping bags, so I don’t need to buy extra plastic bags that can’t be recycled. I will buy a reusable water bottle and a metal straw to reduce my waste.
I will try to walk or ride my bike to get different places to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that will help reduce climate change.
Avoid buying things which have palm oil to protect the rainforests that need to be cut down to make it.”
How to submit
To submit your child’s entry, please email a picture of their letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Voices Of The Future”.
Please confirm in the body of the email that you are the child’s parent or guardian, and you consent to their work being published by Earth Collective.