I USED TO DREAM ABOUT BEING ROBINSON CRUSOE When I was a kid most of my time was spent playing in sheds, camps and dens. I used to explore a huge range of dusty old sack draped chicken sheds, we used to play hide and seek type games in a system of underground air raid shelters, we picnicked and slept out in an old railway carriage, and of course we built tree houses, and scooped out caves in the ground, and camped out in the woods. I used to pretend that I was someone like Robinson Crusoe or some sort of backwoods hunter who lived in the American wilderness. WHY ECO-KIDS SELF-SUFFICIENCY? If as a kid you can build a camp, light a fire, cook out in the open, sleep under the stars, mend your bike, grow your own vegetables, keep chickens for eggs, and all the rest, then you are well on the way to becoming self-contained and independent, or you might say self-sufficient. And the good thing is, and this is where it gets really exciting, if as a kid you can build a self contained camp, den or shed out in the garden, then you are in your own way creating a world in miniature. And if in play you can get your own small world right, then the chances are you will be that much more successful when you get to set up your own home and life for real. WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT? If you could travel out to space and look down at our world from a distance, you would see that everything that we are – our whole environment, all our homes, family, friends, food, forests, animals, rivers and seas, everything – is here on Earth. There is nowhere else to go! So, if you think of our world as being a wonderful but fragile woman – like say your granny - and let’s say that we call our world Mother Earth, or perhaps Gaia after the Greek mother earth goddess – then what choice do we have other than to care of her? If we believe just a little bit of what we read, and see on the computer and TV, and take it as fact that Mother Earth or Gaia is sick, stressed out and generally very unhappy, then looking after our wildlife, caring for plants, cutting down on pollution and generally tidying up our way of living has got to be a good idea. HOW CAN YOU HELP IMPROVE OUR WORLD? First things first, there is no need to get stressed and anxious about Eco issues. Yes things like global warming are important, but the very fact that that are real and concrete means that you/we can use real muscle-and-brain strategies to sort them out - they aren’t fairy tale fears. In just the same way as you can help to keep your home clean simply by taking off your shoes before you enter – so that your route through the house isn’t marked by a line of muddy footprints – so you need to do your best to walk through your life without leaving a line of yucky, waste covered, pollution smeared, carbon heavy footprints. And if you can show your friends how your den, or you might call it your study centre, or your home in the woods, is an on-going experiment that explores how you can create your own energy, grow your own food, and generally be self-sufficient, then you are in a way caring for the whole world. Oh... if you do spot spelling mistakes and such... good just keep me posted.