Sustainability For Kids: How Used Books Can Help

Climate change is top of the agenda for millions of people around the world – in fact, for young people, it’s the most important issue facing the world today. And since the current global warming trend is almost certainly the result of human activity, it’s more important than ever to highlight the issue of sustainability for kids. In fact, it’s only going to become more crucial to help children learn about the impact of climate change, and what we can do to help the environment.

Sustainability for kids isn’t exactly the easiest thing to explain. There are so many factors and variables involved that it’s mind-boggling even to a lot of adults. But there is a simple way you can start to make kids aware of the environmental impact of their actions – and that’s through second hand books.

Why Is It Important To Teach Kids About Sustainability?

Teaching kids about sustainability helps them understand how their actions affect the world. The more they learn about the planet and the environment, the more likely they are to put what they’ve learned into practice. It’s important to teach them that the simplest acts can have an impact – even switching off the lights when they leave a room can help reduce the rate of climate change.

There are lots of ways you can open up a discussion about the environment with your kids. For younger children, spending time outdoors is a great way to get them thinking about animals and plants, and how to care for them. Older children, meanwhile, will appreciate an open, honest approach to talking about the environment – it’s great if they feel they can ask questions, even if you don’t have all the answers.

However, since environmental issues can become a source of anxiety and fear for many young people, it’s important not to provoke or aggravate those feelings. That’s where second hand books come in. Using a gentle, educational approach, books can spark children’s curiosity about the environment – and, with your help, they can show kids what actions to take to do their bit for sustainability.

How Can Second Hand Books Help?

Even as newborns, babies enjoy being read to – and while this is probably a bit young to be talking about carbon dioxide emissions, if you can interest your little ones in books from a young age, they’re more likely to become a formative part of their development. If children have a connection with books when they’re small, they’re more likely to trust them as they grow. As children get older, you can use books to put a positive spin on tricky issues like climate change.

Kids love to learn, so they’ll be interested in how books are made. This can lead into a conversation about the impact of printing books on people and places around the world. Percentages and kilowatt hours are tricky concepts for kids, so here are some child-friendly facts you can share with your youngsters:

  • One tree can create approximately 25 books
  • Trees which are used to make paper grow in countries like Indonesia, where tigers, elephants, and rhinoceroses live – when trees are cut down, it makes it difficult for these animals to find food and water
  • It’s difficult to recycle books, since they’re made using glue that can’t be recycled – so many books that are thrown away for recycling actually end up at the tip
  • Making a single book produces approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide as a 6 mile car journey

Once your kids have a better understanding of where books come from, you can explain how second hand books are different from new books or e-readers. They’re more sustainable, since they don’t use any new paper, energy, or minerals to make them. Plus, kids will appreciate the books for their stories, rather than the fact they’re brand new. It’s a simple but effective way to teach them about the value of reusing preloved books over buying shiny new ones – even if they’re a little dog-eared.

How Do Hand Me Down Book Club’s Kids’ Book Boxes Work?

We love to see kids reading – as well as being a great way to teach them about the environment, it’s great for their imagination, development, and creativity. That’s why we’re introducing a book box especially for kids! If you’re already subscribed to our book boxes, you know the drill. If not, here’s how the system works:

  • Sign up to receive a monthly book box of 4 books
  • Choose your preferred age range
  • We’ll handpick books in line with your chosen age range and post them out to you (in recyclable plastic-free packaging)
  • Storytime! We’ll send your books on the 10th of each month, so you’ll receive them a few days later

You can find out more about our sustainability practices, pricing and how our book boxes work over in our FAQ page.

Why Kids Will Love Receiving Surprise Book Boxes

Kids love surprises, so they’ll be super excited to get a package in the post with their name on it – it’s like a birthday every month. They’ll discover new authors, genres, and interests, giving them a healthy appetite for learning.

But the real joy is in sharing their sort-of-new books with their grown-ups. If they’re still young enough to enjoy sharing storytime with you, they’ll love reading together. If they’re a little too grown up for that these days, you can rest assured that they’ve got fresh reading material, sustainably sourced (and maybe even enjoy a little me-time while they’re occupied with their new books).

Sustainability For Kids – The Power Of Books

Kids are more likely to engage with a subject if it excites them – and what’s more exciting than getting books delivered every month? Our second hand book boxes are a great way to spark your child’s interest in environmental issues including climate change, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Find out more about the environmental impact of making and buying books here.


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