All too often, news about the future of our planet is bad news. Your children may find themselves caught up in worries about animal extinction and climate change. According to our new research, they’re not alone. Earth Rangers partnered with Ipsos to survey 1,000 American children between the ages of 6 and 11 for our 2023 Eco-Anxiety Index. More than 80% of the kids we surveyed experience eco-anxiety: feelings of worry, fear, and even despair over environmental problems.
In the face of issues as complex and challenging as climate change and biodiversity loss, parents often don’t know how to reassure their children. If you and your family find yourselves in this situation, we have good news for you: eco-anxiety can fuel positive eco-action! 65% of the children who responded to our survey said that they take regular action to protect our planet and fight climate change. They talk with friends and family about these issues, participate in rallies and events, volunteer, support environmental organizations, and participate in eco-friendly activities at home or school.
What’s more, according to our research, eco-anxiety and eco-action always stay consistent with one another. Kids who worry less about the environment do less about it, while higher levels of eco-anxiety drive increased eco-action. Earth Rangers found that children in the Northeast and West Coast over-indexed on both eco-anxiety and eco-action. The South hovered at the national average, while the Midwest under-indexed across the board.
“Today’s generation is leveraging their concerns as a catalyst for positive change,” says Tovah Barocas, President of Earth Rangers. “Instead of seeing a problem, they see a wake-up call – and aren’t hesitating to do something about it.”
“The data doesn’t lie,” says Steve Levy, Chief Client Officer at Ipsos Canada. “The more you know about the environment, the more empowered you feel to take action on its behalf.”
If you’re a parent or an educator of an eco-anxious child, you can use our Eco-Anxiety Parent Guide to turn their anxiety into positive action. Our resources will help you validate your children’s feelings, educate them about climate change, and find new ways to protect nature—and have fun!—as a family.