Being a kiwi kid is amazing. No doubt about it. To me, it is better than being a kid in any other country! Growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand I can truly say we have the world’s best backyards and the absolute best ways to fill each day. (I can vouch for this because I have done a fair amount of travelling and also lived in England as a kid, and it doesn’t even compare). Nothing beats the NZ environment!
Kids can grow up so quickly nowadays, with early access to iPhones, make-up, PlayStation, and other luxuries associated with being a teenager, at least! Videos from all over the world on Facebook and YouTube document this, showing kids playing on their phones more than playing outside. I’m not saying that New Zealand isn’t a little bit like this too. But it seems to me that the magic of being a kid is still alive in kiwi backyards. Playing outside with your friends, going swimming in rivers, doing cartwheels and riding bikes with the neighbourhood kids, eating fish and chips on the beach, backyard BBQ’s. These are the memories that we hang onto forever, that you won’t find anywhere else, or at least find nearly as good.
It’s also important to mention how amazing it is to be in a country where you feel pretty safe, wherever you are. Not all countries can say the same thing! Your parents can let you head down to the waterhole, the beach, the park, the local hike, the river, the whatever, without having to worry. Another magic thing about being a Kiwi Kid is knowing the secrets that this country holds. Every Kiwi Kid knows a top-secret location that they visit every summer and will always continue to. You don’t have to go on a fancy overseas holiday to have an answer, you can have the best summer every in the Kiwi Backyard.
Therefore, it is so important – so, so, so, so, so, so important – that Kiwi Kids do our part to help protect the New Zealand environment. We are lucky to have grown up in this incredible place, but it will not look like this forever. At the rate we are currently going, our children won’t have the same magical backyard that we do. Here are some tips for playing your part:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Check the label on every piece of rubbish, to make sure you’re putting it in the right bin. Even better, you can avoid throwing things away altogether, by buying fewer things, taking better care of the things you have, and finding ways to repair or reuse things that are old or broken.
Protect our Habitats! Stand up against deforestation, by avoiding foods that contain unsustainable palm oil. Keep your local habitats safe by sticking to the paths. You could even make your own garden wildlife-friendly by setting aside space for nature! You could build a bee hotel, have a log pile, or even create a pond.
Become a green eater! In the past, people thought that we could take whatever we wanted from the planet, without any consequences! Now, we know that’s not true. If we keep taking as much as we want, whenever we want, our planet’s resources could one day run out. If we could all cut down, just a little bit, it would take the pressure off natural ecosystems, and ensure that these animals – and their habitats – have a healthy future. Talk to your family and ask if you could all try some vegetarian or vegan meals.
Be a Planet Advocate! The real secret of how to save the planet? Sharing your knowledge with others and helping them to become eco-heroes too! Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell others about your planet passions! It takes lots of people working together to make change happen – so share, share, share!
Come on Kiwi Kids – it’s our future and it’s our job to make it clean and green.
Critical Thinking Challenges:
- Do you think that there are countries where children have a better or worse environment than NZ? Elaborate.
- Do you think New Zealand kids can make a positive difference to the future of New Zealand’s environment?
- How has New Zealand’s environment changed and developed throughout the years? Ask your parents what it looked like when they were young. How was it different?
- Ask you peers what they do to help protect the environment?
- What is the best thing about the Kiwi environment? How has New Zealand’s summer changed and developed throughout the years? Ask your parents what they got up to. Compare with your classmate’s parents.
- What is your opinion on this article? Do you believe that New Zealand really does have the best environment?