Bedtime stories: An opportunity to explore sustainability with your child

Bedtime stories are not just for helping children to wind down and settle before sleep, they are a magical way to support their growth and development. Reading to them promotes language development and vocabulary, encourages them to use their imagination and to think creatively, and to develop empathy and understanding for others. Not only does it provide a special moment to snuggle up and bond, listening to a story helps them to improve their concentration and attention span. With each story they listen to, children are transported into a world of new ideas, concepts and cultures.

Introducing ideas and behaviours at a young age is important to lay the foundations for responsible behaviour when they are older. We can use stories to increase their awareness of sustainable practices such as recycling, reusing, repairing and reducing waste. We can foster their appreciation for the planet, to think critically about the impact of their actions and to consider their role in protecting the environment.

With that in mind there are now lots of children’s books that have been published specifically to explore these themes, promote resourcefulness and creative problem-solving. Below are just a few of my current favourites. While I don’t think I’m ever not going to be able to prevent at least one rendition of ‘Peppa’s busy day’ and ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ each night, putting one of these books into the rotation certainly helps to vary the subject matter, and expose my children to ideas I value and want to pass on to them.

What a waste book

Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there's a floating mass of rubbish larger than the usa in the pacific ocean? It's not all bad news though. Some countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and our waste can be turned into something useful. Everything young ecologists need to know about what we're doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling.

How a recycling truck works book

Beep! Beep! The recycling truck has arrived. Peep under flaps and through holes to find out how it works, as it zooms around town collecting recycling and taking it to the sorting factory. This hands-on introduction to the topic of recycling is perfect for little fingers and curious minds.

Old enough to save the planet book Be inspired by real-life children taking actions against climate change!
Slow fashion children's book Instead of buying loads of stuff, let's look for clothes that last. We'll try and mend the things we have - trends shouldn't move so fast. Slow fashion highlights the positive side of making more ethical choices when it comes to our clothes. From charity shops and hand-me-downs to making and mending, slow fasion can be a whole lot of fun! For ages 3 and up.
Please help Planet Earth book

Written from the perspective of our planet, this fun story with bright artwork helps to demonstrate the ways where even the smallest person can make a big impact. It contains simple, easy tips for children to follow and is an eco-friendly product itself - made from recycled board, with plant-based inks and glues, and with minimal plastic content. The perfect introduction for toddlers to help them understand and engage with the issue of climate change.

Zero Waste children's book Why don’t we have a picnic? Come on, let’s all sit down! Scraps go in the compost heap - the bugs will break them down. Zero Waste highlights the positive side of making more ethical choices when it comes to waste. From composting and recycling to buying nude food and growing veggies, a zero-waste lifestyle can be a whole lot of fun! For ages 3 and up.
Here we are (Planet Earth) book

Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else. Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things a simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind.

Let's save The Amazon story book The Amazon is one of the most incredible places on Earth. This richly illustrated picture book brings to life this extraordinary region for young children, exploring its tropical rainforest and scenic landscapes. It showcases the lush wildlife, diverse communities and life-saving medicines that can all be found there - and why it is so important that we act to protect this special part of the planet from the impact of climate change.
The Story Orchestra - Fours Seasons In One Day book

Discover what it would be like to travel through the four seasons in one day, following a little girl called isabelle and her dog, pickle, as they take on the adventure of a lifetime. As a sign of the changing seasons, isabelle carries a little apple tree with her, and we see it bud, blossom and lose its leaves. Accompanied by pieces from vivaldi's four seasons, this is the first title in a series of sound books that bring classical music to life for young children.


These titles are available online from our workspace buddies Pumpkin Brown here. They are another mum-run eco-friendly business like us who have a wonderfully curated children's book selection as well as specialising in reusable nappies, Montessori toys and eco living products.