Teach the Parent: the youth that are turning climate anxiety into action

May 22, 2024

In the face of growing concern among young people over inaction on the climate emergency, young people are taking matters into their own hands - beginning in their own homes. Last week, we saw the launch of Teach the Parent, a campaign driven by the passion and determination of a 19-year-old climate activist, aiming to transform hopelessness and helplessness into tangible family-based solutions.

Teach the Parent, led by the young climate activist and student Scarlett Westbrook, aims to empower 125,000 young individuals to engage in meaningful conversations with their parents, guardians, and carers about sometimes difficult topics within sustainability. These young people may not yet be able to vote, have a say in financial decisions, or even control over how they travel, but they have the largest stake in the future. The campaign recognises that parental figures care about the future for young people, but might feel they lack knowledge, resources, or the motivation to act for the climate. This is where the campaign comes in – supporting young people to teach them.

Teach the Parent is unfolding through a series of monthly livestreams centred around key themes such as travel, fast fashion, diet, biodiversity, and ethical finance, and each will equip young viewers with the tools needed to effectively communicate with their parental figures. The livestreams will beheld in collaboration with experts and influencers, and will have three achievable actions for all to pledge to undertake. To kick-off, Scarlett interviewed Tori Tsui, a climate activist and writer, about eco-anxiety. The well-received interview interrogated the complexities of the issue while giving some constructive tips on how to broach this with relatives. The next livestream will be on Travel, hosted on Wednesday 29th May on the Teach the Future account on Instagram.

“We recognize that many young people are frustrated by the lack of decisive action from political leaders. Teach the Parent aims to empower our youth to become catalysts for change within their own homes,” explained Scarlett Westbrook.

The heart of this initiative lies in the potential for meaningful connections between generations. By harnessing the enthusiasm of our youth, families will discover new avenues for positive change and adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Teach the Parent offers an opportunity for families to unite under a shared purpose, embracing sustainable practices for a healthier planet and brighter future.

“A small chat can have a big influence,” added Scarlett Westbrook. “Together, we can unleash a wave of pester-powered climate action across communities.”

Teach the Parent invites all parental figures, grandparents, educators, and community leaders to join in this transformative journey. By empowering young people to educate their families, we can tackle eco-anxiety, unlock the potential for collective action and inspire a generation of change makers. Join the movement at TeachTheParent.org.

The Teach the Parent campaign is run by Students Organising for Sustainability UK and received generous funding from Changing Ideas.