Today’s Solutions: February 05, 2023

While many adults may not care about the environment, they do care about their children. And since younger people these days tend to be more concerned with climate change than older generations, getting adults to care, let alone acknowledge climate change as a problem may be as simple as getting kids to start talking about it with their parents. That’s what a new study found in Utah where air pollution is a major problem. In the study, a team of researchers started a poster contest across high schools in Utah and offered prizes for the best poster. Teens may have participated in the contest to win, but the researchers secretly hoped the contest would have a hidden consequence: perhaps teens would start talking to their parents about air pollution. It worked. 71 percent of the parents said their teens started a conversation about air pollution in Utah with them. The study suggests that motivating kids to talk to their parents about such matters may be an effective way to break local apathy about air pollution and other environmental issues by reaching adults in a personal way that public service campaigns can’t do.

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