.Review Het Groene ABC
.Conversations with children about the environment and nature do not have to be “difficult”. It can be done in a playful manner, using a colourful book like Het Groene ABC. This book contains texts and song lyrics that, with the help of the alphabet, explain to children why it is so important to keep the ecosystem in balance. For example, the book mentions that the highest CO2 emissions are caused by a cow's belches and farts.
.Utilizing this book, we can show children that there is nothing more beautiful than nature. That each animal and each flower is functional. That nature is “more powerful” than mankind and fills our every need. The only thing we have to do is treat nature with respect.
.‘That’s nice, but this Groene ABC book is a book meant for a library or a school,’ my friend said. ‘Why?’ I asked her. ‘Well, HetGroene ABC book is about how we can treat nature and the environment better, that is not something a parent would discuss with their child,’ she said. I have frequently heard similar answers when I shared my enthusiasm about Het Groene ABC with the people around me.
.But can we, as adults, still give this answer? Has it by now not become our duty to make our children more aware of their surroundings? Is it not our place, as parents, to talk about the environment and sustainability to take care of our children indirectly? To think or expect that schools nowadays spend time on these kinds of subjects is a misconception.
.We too can talk to our children about the “plastic soup” in the ocean and the importance of recycling. This way we can work together with our children to not make this “soup” even bigger.
.After I had read Het Groene ABC with my son, something wonderful happened in our house. My son had filled a plastic container with different kinds of hagelslag in the supermarket. And now that the container is almost empty, he said to me ‘Mom, I have a good idea. When this plastic container is empty, let’s fill it again, so that we won’t have to use another one.’
.How great would it be if every child could think up such easy solutions? There are of course more steps to take, especially regarding the use of plastics, but each step matters. These small steps that we can take ourselves will eventually lead to a big, important step.
.We can make our children more aware of a healthy environment, and if you are looking for inspiration to do so, Het Groene ABC is the book for you.

Dutch text written by Renate van der Werf
English translation by Jori Oosterwaal