What can my family do?
Working together for greater impact
While individual climate actions are important, we can do more together than alone.
Whether you are part of a family with diverse views on climate change, or a parent of children who are curious to understand, there are plenty of opportunities to have constructive conversations about climate action.
You can talk to your peers, family members, children and loved ones about climate change in ways experts, scientists and environmental organisations can’t. You are more likely to open the minds of people who you have a trusting relationship with.
But it can be daunting to talk to people who may not share your perspective on climate change.
Here are six ways to start the conversation.
1. Conversation guide: Talking about climate change and weather
The Climate Council have produced a conversation guide to turn ordinary conversation about the weather into the more important topic of climate change. They also answer the 8 most common climate change questions. Subscribe to their newsletter for the latest climate and energy news.
2. A climate conversation coach
There’s a science behind how to improve the quality of our conversations so we can more easily find common ground, shift opinions and understanding and ultimately decrease the polarization around climate change.
CliMate is a fun and interactive chatbot (operated by the David Suzuki Foundation) that coaches you to have more constructive conversations about climate change that decrease divisiveness and help cultivate empathy and find common ground. You’ll need Facebook messenger to use this tool.
3. Have a party
Climate For Change have taken the party-plan model made famous by Tupperware® and adapted it to allow meaningful discussions about climate change to happen in people’s homes.
A host invites friends and family to their home, Climate for Change send a trained facilitator to present information, answer questions and facilitate a discussion about climate change. At the end of the discussion, they invite guests to take regular action as well as host their own Climate Conversation with their friends and family.
Register to host a conversation here.
4. Involve your children in your climate action
Children are constant observers of adults’ choices. Many kids will notice when an adult makes an effort to reduce waste and carbon emissions. Children are inherently curious and want to learn too.
So why not get your children involved in your climate action? Let them help decide on a plant-based meal to cook for dinner, or ask your teenagers to help you research fossil fuel free superannuation funds. Explain what these actions and choices mean for the environment.
Look into Climate7’s 7 ways in 7 days, which will help you make a habit out of climate action every day of the week.
5. What do I say to my children about climate change?
Children can become quite distressed by the doomsday imagery synonymous with climate change. Here is a guide for parents about talking to your children about climate change in a way that is appropriate for their age.
Games such as those found on NASA’s ClimateKids website are a fun way for children to learn about climate change.
You can also show children how they as individuals can mobilize and inspire change. The world has just witnessed 16-year-old Greta Thunberg launch a global climate movement that is inspiring millions.
6. Form a support group with other parents
The Australian Psychological Society has put together a handbook on how to teach your children the skills they need to thrive in a climate-changed world – self-regulation, justice, equity, flexibility, cooperation, active citizenship, negotiation and conflict resolution.
Why not form a parents group to discuss and debrief while working through these together with your children?
Katharine Hayhoe | Climate Scientist
The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it.
The Climate Council
Greenhouse gases are a bit like a doona – a great way for kids to understand climate change.
The Climate Council
Meet Daisy, year 12 student and Climate Change striker.