05/17/2013 04:37 pm ET Updated May 17, 2013

Table Talk: What We Can Do To Help The Environment


This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Last week, the earth hit an environmental milestone that has climate scientists very concerned. One of the things that the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory is responsible for is measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere. Its researchers in Hawaii found that we’ve passed the threshold of 400 parts per million -- the highest carbon dioxide concentration in millions of years. It’s not just a number -- this represents big changes for our environment. At the rate we're going, the earth’s temperature could continue to rise, leading to more extreme weather and plants and animals going extinct.

But even in the face of all of this scary news, there are ways we can help to make our planet healthier. Simple things like walking or taking public transportation, being careful not to sit in a running car, eating less meat and buying groceries at the neighborhood farmers’ market are all ways to lend a hand -- and everyone in the family can participate (get your parents involved!). Use social media to share articles about climate change (including this one!) and keep the conversation active. Tonight, let’s talk about what we can do to make an impact.

Questions for discussion:
  • What have you learned about climate change at school?
  • Does the news that we have surpassed the 400 ppm threshold scare you?
  • What can people -- including your family -- do to make their lives more green?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.



Kids Making A Difference