BeyondConsumerism

Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.

Getting Kids Back Outdoors

kids digging in garden bedChildren are increasingly disconnected from nature, spending less time outdoors and more time in front of computers and TVs. Most kids know fewer common wildlife species than cartoon characters or corporate logos. Some can’t even identify common vegetables.

Moving beyond a commercial culture starts with basic eco-literacy and reverence for the planet—something that direct experience with nature can provide. Plus, getting your kids outside will reduce exposure to commercials and get them more physically active, both of which are valuable in their own right.

Richard Louv, in his seminal book Last Child in the Woods, details the growth of “nature deficit disorder” that children and adults both now experience. Since the book's release in 2005, a national movement has sprouted to combat this alarming trend, with policy and grassroots efforts to get children back into the outdoors.

Get Involved!

  • Start a “Nature Club for Families” in your neighborhood, using tips from this online guide.
  • Join a Scouts program. The Earth Scouts starts with an eco-centric philosophy, is co-ed, and may be active in your area. If not, you may be interested in starting an Earth Scouts group, or in joining a more traditional Boy or Girl Scout troop.
  • Participate with the Children and Nature Network to advocate for policy changes.