I have no desire to start a debate about climate change, and I feel that it detracts from the real point. Whether you believe climate change is real or that the earth is merely going through cycles, I think we can all agree that we, as humans, have an impact on nature.

I believe that one of the biggest things we can do is educate our children. Recently, a friend recounted a story to me. The neighborhood children were playing in her yard, as she has the only yard on the street. She looked out and saw them stomping on something. Upon investigating, she discovered that they were stomping on the honey bees gathering pollen from the dandilions.

I have no doubt that the children had merely found a fun game, the honey bees unwittingly becoming players, but what if their parents had taught them the importance of these beneficial bugs. That honey bees were not only responsible for the delicous honey they enjoyed on toast, but also the oranges that grew on trees pollinated by honey bees. Would a child who knew the importance of these little creatures find such fun in destroying them? Considering the natural awe and care of children, I’m guessing not.

Let’s get our kids connected to their outdoor environment. Teach them the importance of Leave No Trace. Inspire them with the amazing things that can only be found with a walk in the woods. Show them the value in our world. And, be an example of a steward.

We are responsible not only for how we leave this earth to our kids, but how we leave our kids to this earth. We may not have the means to make a big gesture, but teaching our children to respect nature is the least we can do.