Craftivism at UBC’s Girls-Only Maker Camp

Kids are super angry with us adults, y’all.

They do not want us to ridicule them (their word) when they bring up climate action.

They do not want us to dismiss them or tell them to wait till they’re older and know more.

They do not want us to maintain our status quo, leaving them with an even bigger mess once we’re dead.

They do not want us to be hypocrites who say we love our pets but won’t protect the rest of the animals on this planet.

They want us to put our collective survival ahead of our individual desires.

They want us to join them and help them fight climate change.

This is what they told me in our session on craftivism at UBC’s Girls-Only Maker Camp. We rounded out their week of camp with a discussion about what makes them mad about climate change (see above). Then we talked through what they might do about it, and how they might effectively get adults to take action with them instead of dismissing them.

They decided to call on local Vancouver businesses to take a #WithoutWasteWednesday pledge in an effort to reduce their overall landfill waste. To accept the challenge, a business would simply commit to posting a photo of their landfill-bound waste each Wednesday and try to get it down to zero within a year, and use the hashtag #WithoutWasteWednesday.

Reversing our dreadful climate-change trajectory will involve far more than reducing waste, but this session wasn’t about duplicating work scientists have already done to identify what we need to do. It was about giving kids an opportunity to be heard, and heeded.

We would do well to join them in this fight. Indeed, the survival of life on earth literally depends on it.