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Making Connections

Making Connections

Making Connections

We share an article from the BCT Newsletter archive about “connecting to nature”.

Given the ongoing climate change, we trust you will appreciate reading Melinda Taylor Schouten‘s insightful piece.

Making Connections

Connecting to Nature

Text by Melinda Taylor Schoutens. We edited this piece to meet the blog’s requirements.


“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”

David Suzuki, Canadian Environmental Activist.

The climate crisis can feel overwhelming. It feels cruel and unfair. More so, the idea that our young children will inherit the issues that plague our world. We have found simple ways to help our kids care for the planet and thus feel more in control of a daunting problem. We encourage our children to love the earth and understand the urgency of our choices.

Making Connections

The first and best way we know is by taking them into nature.

Once children have forged a deep connection with the natural world, they will realise firsthand how the human footprint impacts the world. They can witness nature by observing various animals’ life cycles or examining the insects that cross their path. Or by viewing a rising or setting sun and noting the seasons’ change.

We tried our best to teach our children to respect the natural landscapes that Switzerland is so fortunate to possess. As adults, we teach and model healthy outdoor behaviour. Consequently, we stay on the trails and do not pick flowers in bloom. We also admire animals without causing harm and dispose of trash properly.

Making Connections
Education is a powerful way to foster awareness.

We can observe visual differences between the past and present.

While at the Aletsch Glacier, we took the time to visit the museum (it is wheelchair-accessible and offers free admission). We learnt how the glacier has morphed and drastically changed over the years.

Visual education is powerful beyond measure. Indeed, reminders are influential for children and profound for adults. We talked through the process while walking along the evident retreating glacier.


Making Connections

When we returned home to Basel, our family recalled the mountains and the natural landscapes. Accordingly, we implemented changes to impact the planet and future generations positively.

Our shifts include:
– Opting for public transport. 

We have elected to be a car-free family for the last fifteen years. Yes, at times, it would be far more convenient to own a car. However, we feel compelled to rely on Switzerland’s excellent public transportation system.

– Mainly consuming vegetarian and organic food.

At the age of eleven, our son decided to become a vegetarian. No doubt, frolicking with animals in the Alps changed his mind. We embraced and supported his choice.

Natural farming seems to be better for the health of the soil, the people who tend to the land, the planet and our bodies. Thus, we consume primarily organic fruits and vegetables; we vote through our purchases.

– Limiting the use of plastic and flying.

We limit our consumption of plastic, although this is not easy. Please let us know if anyone has devised clever ways to eliminate plastic waste for bathroom goods.

Making Connections

– Recycling.

Our children are responsible for recycling our household’s glass, aluminium, and plastic. Therefore, they see and feel what we consume by being accountable for that process. Additionally, they understand the importance of the recycling process.

– Balcony Farming.

The way to becoming expert farmers is long, but we are making tiny strides. Despite living in a relatively small apartment, we tried our hand at balcony farming. We grew tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers with some success.

Making Connections

– Minimising Flying.

Vacations that require flying demand our long and hard considerations. We try to minimise our use of aeroplanes to a couple of trips, or less per year.

– Maintaining open communication.

We want to keep the communication and education lines open. Subsequently, our family often discusses the planet, global warming and activists. We talk about essential terms relating to climate change. And read books and watch films on this topic. These actions help create awareness and fuel positive changes.

A Worthwhile Cause

We aspire to do right by our children and let them witness the declining elements of the natural world. May these moments be etched into their beings. So they understand that this planet is worth protecting. And grasp that nature is not a privilege but a necessity for human health. And the health of future generations.


If you are interested in finding ways to speak to children about climate change, consider the following resources:
Listen to:

Life Kit: Parenting by NPR episode, “How to Talk to Kids About Climate Change (24 October 2019).

Read these:

The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Greta and the Giants – Inspiration by Greta Thunberg’s Stand to Save the World by Zoe Tucker

Last Child in the Woods – by Richard Louv



Melinda, together with Robert Schoutens, are the authors of the following three books:

All three books are available at and other significant bookshops and come in English, French and German.








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