In a world facing complex environmental and social challenges, a big part of the responsibility to shape our planet’s future falls into the hands of today’s youngest generation. What to do about this?
In order to create a better future for our children, strengthen sustainable development and combat climate change it is essential childhood education that includes tackling and raising awareness for these global transformations. A playful tool can help talk about those abstract concepts and we realized in the past years working with schools around the globe that a solar lamp can be exactly that. Not only is it a great camping companion, lighting up a path among forest trees or at home while reading underneath the sheets or as a toy for shadow play. A solar buddy, makes you hold the power of the sun in your own hands, creating a tangible experience, empowering a child to creatively and critically engage with the world.
Introduce a buddy that
…connects your child with the sun
The sun balances the planet and is the foundation for life. Everything – every living animal, plant and aspect of nature – depends on the sun. Trees harness and store the power of the sun in their leaves, they cannot grow without the sun. With a solar lamp, you can harness the sun’s energy and take it with you wherever you go. At the same time, it can encourage your children to develop their environmental and global consciousness and learn about renewable forms of energy.
Holding hands with the sun is holding hands with the future – Olafur Eliasson, a founder of Little Sun
…connects your child with the planet
A solar lamp is also a conversation starter! Introduce your children to climate change, environmental destruction and conservation. Discuss how these problems are caused and how they could be solved. Talk about climate justice, energy access and how people around the world deal with those topics. Introduce the issues along with solutions, in order to raise a child that is a conscious global citizen.
…prepares your child to make choices for a healthier Earth
A solar lantern is a playful tool that at an early age can help bring clarity to complicated terms such as sustainability and renewable energy. Educating youngsters about the importance of solar energy plays a critical role in creating a more sustainable future for our planet and makes children aware of smart and alternative energy solutions, giving them the tools to make better choices for their futures – and for our planet.
Olafur Eliasson, a founder of Little Sun shares his story:
This is now a few years ago when I was still allowed to give bedtime stories to my daughter. I was using it (the lamp) and we had it out on the balcony in the day and I explained how it worked and so on and so forth. And after a while, she said to me, “So having saved the CO2, so it doesn’t go out, so where is it then? Is it out in the garage? All the CO2 emissions that we saved?”. And then I had to go into explaining to her that it’s a little more complex. So it brought to the attention of my daughter that there is something called CO2, there is something called the atmosphere, and there is a way of not putting CO2 into the atmosphere.
How can you introduce a solar buddy to your child in the best way?
Buy a lamp on our webshop and organise a solar workshop in your neighborhood or classroom! We offer free workshop materials that are based on two strands of learning: a theoretical Science Education Program and a practical Activity Series. Our workshops are unique in their focus on solar energy and their multidisciplinary approach that combines art, science, and empathy. Our carefully compiled factsheets are designed to complement the science, ethics, and health classes in our workshops. The selected topics all align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which include health, well-being, and affordable and clean energy.
So do you want to organize your own solar workshop?
free educational materials in English or German, for different age groups
Photo credits: Franziska Russo