Enlighten children about the environment
It was while on a work assignment in western Canada as a corporate accountant at L-3 Communications, that Judith Green did some soul searching about her true calling in life. She had a passion for helping impoverished children, but wasn’t sure of the means for accomplishing this. Her other growing interest in environmental issues was heightened through her travels where she saw first-hand the harmful effects of environmental degradation on the poor, particularly children. Her interests in environmental issues, which are universal to all children, seem to naturally complement her desire to help children. In her quest to fulfill her calling, Judith is committed to writing environmental literature for children.
Judith believes that teaching children about the environment at an early age provides them with a solid foundation for environmental stewardship. Throughout her work, she enlivens environmental issues by engulfing them in fictional and captivating narratives with colourful characters that seize children’s attention and fuel their imaginations.
Judith is an accountant. She is married and lives in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and is the proud mother of three young adults.
A portion of the proceeds of book sales will support programs for needy children.
Further information about Judith Green and her works is available on her website at www.enviro1online.com, which also features a blog with additional interesting material on environmental matters.
SD: There are not many children’s books out there that teach environmental education. What inspired you to write The Earthball Family: We are the Earth?
JG: It was divine inspiration. I was on a work assignment in Edmonton and had plenty of time alone in my hotel room. I asked God what my destiny was, the real purpose of my life on Earth. I knew that I wanted to work with children but not much more than that. After asking the question, the answer came immediately. Every channel that I switched to on the television was about the environment so I took my cue from there.
I came up with the name ‘The Earthball Family’ for the series from the round ball-like shape of Earth and the members of the Earthball family represent the elements, Mother Nature, the sun and the moon.
SD: The Earthball Family series targets children between the ages six to eight years old. Is there a reason why the book targets this age group and why should children learn about environmental care at a young age?
JG: The Earthball Family series targets children from six to eight years old, but I have also written a series for children five years and under called Mona’s World. I am in the process of writing a series for children ages nine years and up.
I believe that children, who are the future stewards of the earth, should be taught about the environment and how to care for it as early as possible.
SD: There is a great amount of information in your book. Did you do a lot of research about the environment prior to writing the Earthball Family book series?
JG: Yes, I had to do a lot of research prior to writing the Earthball Family series, especially to communicate the facts correctly and in a language appropriate for children of that age group.
SD: How can children apply what they have learned from your book about the environment to their daily lives?
JG: Children can make a conscious effort not to waste water, electricity or food because it impacts Earth’s resources. They can practice recycling regularly. Children will be able to associate the affects of pollution on clean air and water and hopefully make sound choices as they grow older. Children will be able to appreciate animals and their habitats and how they affect their lives.
SD: Do you believe that educating children about environmental care can shape lifelong attitudes, values and patterns of behaviour toward natural environments?
JG: Yes. I definitely believe that teaching children about the environment can help them to develop good habits and help them to make sound choices so that caring for the environment becomes second nature to them.
SD: In this day and age it seems that young children spend most of their time in settings or doing activities that keep them essentially isolated from the natural world. Any suggestions on how a parent/educator can begin to teach children about the quality of child-environment interactions?
JG: Many schools currently have “green” activities for children and it is becoming part of the school curriculum. There are some websites that cater to educating children about the environment as well as a few television programs. Parents and educators alike can arrange quality environmental interactions through reading books like mine and through planned physical outdoor activity.
SD: What are some of the questions, if any, children ask about the environment at a book reading?
JG: In We are the Earth, the first book of the Earthball Family series, children are introduced to the characters. Most of the questions and comments from children are about the characters and which is their favourite and why. Each book in the Earthball Family series comes with a question and answer section. Some questions are from the text while others are general questions.
SD: How important is it to you to preserve the environment?
JG: It is very important to me to preserve the environment. We hear a lot about climate change and its effect on the environment. The general consensus is that the activities of human beings are the main cause of the deterioration of the environment. I believe that we can change our behaviour and preserve the environment that affects us all.
SD: What are some of the things you practice regularly to preserve the environment?
JG: I do my part to diligently separate my garbage as required so that less garbage ends up in landfills. I practice recycling goods a lot and I refrain from using toxins around the house. I avoid using new paper to write on so I usually use empty envelopes received in the mail to make grocery lists and write notes on.
SD: What’s next for you?
JG: Next for me is to continue writing and promoting the books and to educate children about the environment, not only in North America but in a couple of African countries where some environmental issues are manifested differently.