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Are Our Kids More Environmentally Conscious than We Were Growing Up?

The Lorax looks at chopped tree stumpLast weekend Olivia (age 5) and I went to see The Lorax Movie. It got me thinking about whether kids today are more environmentally conscious. Inherently I think yes because a lot of “green” behaviors are more the norm than when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.

For instance, kids are more likely today to turn off the water while brushing their teeth, know what to recycle, not throw trash out the car window (hard to believe this was commonplace when I grew up), go to farmers markets or local farms, use reusable lunch containers, etc.

But it’s nagging on me that the green message has moved outside the activism arena of the 80’s  into the mass media by way of big corporations. Don’t get me wrong I know there is a large active group of green moms, dads, teachers, etc. out there that are successfully sharing the right message with our children. But even Dr. Seuss’ quintessential environmental book becomes a vehicle for corporate marketing via the new Lorax movie and the products that are linked to it.

And as more and more popular brands make money off the environment I fear that our children are going to start ignoring the underlying message or miss it all together. Last month when Chipotle aired their Back to the Start commercial during the Grammy Awards I was frankly on the fence about it.

I loved-loved-loved the message but thought it should have been a non-profit or local farmers’ organization sending it out rather than a food chain. I’ve since gotten over myself and totally applaud them for sharing the message of sustainable farming.

As for our children being more environmentally conscious and their understanding of the “green” message, I can only speak for mine. Here is what Olivia said after watching the Chipotle video, “Aw, the poor pigs in their cages.” And after wiping away the tears at the end of the Lorax, “Mama the man said he was only going to cut down two trees and he didn’t keep his promise. That was bad.” I think she got the message and hopefully big business will too – keep your promise or the kids will turn their backs on you too.


  1. Amy

    Amy March 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I tweeted about this post and here is the response I got from Chipotle…

    ChipotleTweets Chipotle
    @adempsterbh Thank you for the write up! If you want, here is some info on how we are backing up our message -Rusty

    Here is the link:

    Now that’s a company with integrity!

  2. Charissa April 2, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I’m a mom and I love your insightful post on getting kids to understand the “green” message! I will try to instill the same for my son 🙂

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