Recycling, protecting nature and saving resources are at the top of the most frequently discussed family topics related to environmental education, according to a recent poll by Didactica Publishing House, conducted on Earth Day. According to the cited data, more than half of the respondents say that they discussed these topics with children using books, either fiction – stories, or non-fiction.
97% of respondents to the survey carried out by Didactica Publishing House* in April, say that this year they will celebrate Earth Day with their children – celebrated annually on April 22 – and among the most frequent actions is the reduced use of electricity (56 %), collecting waste such as paper, plastic, glass etc. (47%), planting trees/plants (41%), using alternative means of transport such as cycling (34%), recycling products through donations of clothes and toys (29%). The respondents also mentioned among the activities planned for this day cleaning actions of some public areas (parks/forests, etc.), creative games with recycled materials, watching documentary films about nature, readings on this topic, etc.
At the same time, over 70% of those who answered the DPH questions mentioned that they have children’s titles in their library that address topics related to ecology and protecting the planet, and 87% expressed their intention to enrich this collection through new book purchases. Moreover, regarding the opportunity to discuss the environment with children, 47% believe that any age is suitable for this, and 45% believe that the appropriate age for the first discussions on this topic is 3-5 years.
The interest of new generations for the environment and protecting the planet is growing and this can also be seen in the orders we receive, which reflects the approach that parents and teachers have towards this subject. 99% of those who answered our questions mentioned that they discuss with children topics related to environmental education and protecting the planet, and most of them do it from a young age, using personal example, but also books. Our publishing house is running an extensive project in this segment, which involves the publication of 16 fiction titles on the theme of ecological education, written by authors from the European Union, a project that complements the already existing portfolio in this book segment, stated Florentina Ion, founder Didactics Publishing House.
16 new titles on environmental education
All the titles that are part of the project that promotes the international circulation of high-quality literary works and the access of Romanian children to European literature in the segment of environment, ecology and saving the planet, address the mentioned subjects through captivating stories, understandable by all. Among the major themes included in these books are climate change, the influence of humans on nature, the importance of protecting endangered animals, but also animals in general, the excessive waste of resources. Children thus not only become aware of these issues, but learn, through the characters, how they can contribute to making changes every day, so that the planet is a clean and safe environment for all who inhabit it.
The 16 titles add up to 48,000 books that will reach children between the ages of 3 and 10. 2,000 of these will be donated to schools and kindergartens, with the objective of starting environmental education projects in the respective educational units. The project runs for 2 years and is co-financed by the Creative Europe program.
We believe that the subject of environmental education is an extremely important one for the new generations who are increasingly aware of the impact they have on the environment and who are looking for solutions, from the youngest ages, to protect it. The books come with such simple solutions, with age-appropriate notions that encourage responsible consumption, sustainable lifestyle choices, and empathy. The illustrations are an important component that completes the story and have a significant impact especially on the 3–7-year age group. Thus, children empathize with characters like Barnabe – a badger who discovers that the planet is sick – or Blu, a vegetarian flamingo who protects the world’s seed reserve, and learn more easily about these essential topics, Florentina Ion also specified.
The 8 titles published between November 2022 and April 2023 within this project are:
- 1. Barnabe discovers the planet – Gilles Bizouerne (France)
- Barnabe heals the planet – Gilles Bizouerne (France)
- Mission: Planet – Maud Fontenoy (France)
- Luna and the Magical Forest, vol 1: The Owl with a Key in its Beak – Usch Luhn (Germany)
- Secret gardners – Lina Laurent (Sweden)
- Respirus – Roberto Prual-Reavis (France)
- The day we saved the planet – Emmanuelle Lepetit (France)
- Blu on a mission around the world – Sophie de Mullenheim (France)
Additional details about the titles dealing with environmental education topics can be consulted here: https://www.edituradph.ro/carti-copii-carti-despre-protejarea-mediului
*The survey was conducted between April 13-18, 2023, online. 893 people answered the questions, 75% living in urban areas, parents of children aged between 7-10 years – 32.5%, 3-6 years – 25%, 11-14 years – 19.5%, over 15 years – 19%, 0-3 years – 4%.