Our Natural World
By Josie Whitehead
By Josie Whitehead
Our parents told us yesterday that we should do our part
To improve the world around us – but just how should we start?
We all were given thinking caps and a sheet of paper too.
We started with some bright ideas which simply grew and grew.
‘Let’s grow our fruit and vegetables’ – came early in the list.
‘Not by myself,’ Dad pointed out. ‘You lot can all assist.’
'Solar heating’s getting popular. It’s clean and cheaper too:
Let the sun's warm rays provide the heat for me and also you.'
‘I’d like to learn to knit’ said one, ‘and use our local wool.’
‘We’ll dig in our own compost now. Our compost bin is full.’
‘We’ll go to school by bus,’ said Sam, instead of in the car.’
‘I’ll make my own nice jam,’ said Mum. ‘I’ll fill up every jar.’
‘We’ll save on electricity if we change to low watt lights.’
‘We’ll take out holidays at home, not waste our fuel on flights.’
‘We don’t need ready meals at all. We all should learn to cook.’
‘We’ll watch the television less. Instead, let’s read a book.’
‘We ride around in cars too much. Let’s use our feet and walk.
We’ll not get all that road rage if we stroll along and talk.’
‘We won’t need fees for slimming clubs or even for the gym,
For by walking more and gardening, we’ll all get nicely slim.’
One family member sat and smiled. She’d listened with intent,
For Granny, more than anyone knew exactly what they meant.
‘It’s very strange,’ said Granny, ‘for I’ve lived like this before.
We hadn’t thought that we were ‘green’ – they told us it was war.’
Copyright on all my poems
Notes: I wrote the above poem about 2007 and it was chosen by teachers and children for publication (2010). I re-wrote the poem some years later and you will see some changes. Although I was born in 1941 and grew up during and after the end of WW2, and this is how we lived, ie without central heating, learning to make our own clothes, growing our vegetables etc. I wouldn't think that burning logs on the fire is the most environmentally friendly idea today. Solar panels on the roof provide a lot of heating without burning wood and buying locally sourced food and clothes etc are good. Books? Yes, we didn't have many but we had no other source of reading then, but today you can read my poems on the internet which doesn't mean that trees are cut down to make paper. Discuss this poem in your class and see what ideas you come up with for an 'Environmentally Friendly' poem or just plain prose of your own. Josie