Things That Worry Kids About The Environment

On September 17, 2011, BALANCE held live auditions for young singers, dancers and rappers to perform on the upcoming Pacha’s Pajamas soundtrack, and wow did we see some amazing talent!

To watch the videos yourself, visit the audition playlist on our YouTube channel. While the audience oohed and ahhed over the courageous and creative performances of kids on our main stage, I conducted video interviews with each participant backstage. I learned that these children are not just the next generation of singers, dancers and rappers—they are also cultural visionaries! Their words reminded me that we don’t give enough credit to the wisdom, thoughts and deep emotions of the children in our society. If only we listened to them a little more, instead of thinking that adults have all the answers, this world would look a lot more sustainable and just. This is what Pacha’s Pajamas is all about.

Before the interviews, my 8-year-old friend Melia coached me on the best questions to ask: “What worries you most about the environment?” and “What should we do about it?” When I asked the former, I received a range of responses—and no one hesitated with their answers. They spoke to me about cutting down trees and how this threatens our ability to breathe, sea animals becoming extinct and tide pools becoming empty, the hypocrisy of a society whose actions don’t match its words, asthma and other diseases caused by pollution, the testing of cosmetics and toothpaste on animals, water shortages, people who are unaware and uncaring, the amount of garbage we are generating and the natural disasters that are on the news almost every night. In the words of Severn Suzuki, “Did you have to worry about these things when we were growing up?!”

But they didn’t stop there—they had just as much to say about what actions we need to take. Remember these were the same kids with the courage to give it their all in an on-stage audition. They aren’t the types to shy away from challenges. They told me that there is not just one thing we need to do, but many. In their words: we need to reduce, reuse and recycle. We need to go outside more, eat vegetables and cook with the healthy food we can grow from the earth. We need more awareness and biodegradable products. We need fewer banks and more homeless shelters. We need to start groups all over the world focused on picking up trash and healing nature. We need to stop creating landfills and compost our waste into soil. We need to conserve and use less water. We need to walk, bike, support local business and use renewable energy.

And as Lael said when she finished her interview, “If people really do watch this, they need to listen carefully to what I’m saying … ’cause it’s true.”

Are we listening?

By Lucas Guilkey, Videographer, BALANCE

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