Planet ERATH: the big plastic discovery
Planet ERATH: the big plastic discovery
A smart book for today’s kids about one of the biggest environmental challenges of our age – and how to solve it.
A smart book for today’s kids about one of the biggest environmental challenges of our age – and how to solve it. Read more
Before our children were born we knew that we wanted to share the unbelievable stories of the world’s biggest environmental challenges with kids. Our motto was: how can we expect the next generation to tackle these problems if they don’t even know they exist? We started with a tale about a whale, faced with colossal marine pollution.
Then our kids came into the picture. And we realized: we need much more than a cute tale. Watching our kids and others grow and learn, we could see: children are actually much more intelligent than we imagined. We knew: that our stories needed to be honest and straight-forward. Also, in this competitive information world of apps and devices: we have to be creative to grab kids' attention. But above all, we have to be positive, armed with hope and love. Our everyday ‘motto’ has now changed: we want our kids to be aware – and caring.
But the thing is, a lot of these huge environmental issues (like plastic overuse and pollution) are so obvious that most of us end up not caring. We use plastic bags, bottles, straws, coffee cups – all of this every day, regardless of the disturbing news about impacts such as microplastics in our tap water or shocking images of suffering animals.
So, if we are about to reach and motivate the little geniuses who will one day be our leaders – we need to create something smart, unique and practical. This is how Planet ERATH was born.
About the book
Our idea is a hybrid book. It’s a combination of science, a story, and an activity book. And it is beautifully illustrated to help capture the imagination of our readers.
In our story, we have decided to hold up a mirror to our world – showing a new perspective through a recently discovered planet that is the identical twin of ours. In this way, we can introduce a somewhat dry topic through an engaging storyline. Planet ERATH is in grave danger, due to an enormous amount of plastic.
The science is clear: through the book, we explain the issue in a step-by-step manner using interesting, but always accurate, facts. This information, wrapped in the storyline, will follow a logical chain that introduces the problem, its causes, and potential solutions. We will also use catchy visuals and ‘kid-friendly’ infographics, making it easy for the reader to grasp the issue at hand.
To make this information useful and practical, the second half of the book is where the action happens: an activity book with lots of ideas for how kids can begin to tackle the plastic issue(s) in everyday life.
And we all know that kids ask A LOT of questions. So as a supplement to the book, we are also developing a simple but useful guideline for parents, teachers and guardians to help answer further questions that may arise.
Why is it needed?
While many amazing resources (such as articles, documentaries, etc.) do exist about environmental issues, and especially the topic of plastic pollution, we realized that what is missing are short and understandable, but still motivating resources for children. While we are happy to see that there are lots of new, colourful, and engaging tools for kids particularly on science topics, we also need to create a space for learning about uncomfortable topics.
We knew from the start that we should create a book that tackles these issues - something solid and tangible.
It is also visible that there is a revolution in education: there are new models and approaches to learning, one of the most important being that we cannot rely on the old-school passive transfer of knowledge. Rather, learning is active: kids need to absorb, play and create.
Our book is the result of years of work, research and feedback from kids, parents, and teachers alike. We have carried out trial stories and workshops with children, and also conducted a survey with parents to find out what they want for their kids.
Here is some feedback we received about our book idea:
- LOVE your style, and encourage you on this great project!
- Good luck and just do it! ;) i think it is great!
- Great idea!:)
- Keep up the effort, and hurry up :)
Dream and goals
With your help, by supporting our Kickstarter campaign, we can finish and publish this book!
But our dreams go further.
In the long-term we would love to launch a series of books about Planet ERATH: addressing the biggest environmental challenges of our age, from climate change to industrial farming and beyond. If this campaign is successful, we will use all the feedback from our early bird readers (both kids and adults) to develop the upcoming books.
An additional goal is to create a digital Planet ERATH platform, where children can share their ideas and their own projects. In this way they will have the opportunity to co-create, collaborate and communicate with other open minded and dedicated kids. Yup – we promise your kids will be in good company :)
In order to have a bigger impact, we would also like to make different language versions of the book(s) and make them available through our international networks.
But our real dream? To reach and inspire the world’s future leaders and trailblazers, who are “just” kids today. By arming them with the right information, and in an effective way, we believe it is only a matter of time.
Because let’s face it: we already know how to solve the world’s biggest problems - but kids will actually do it.
The technical details
The book will be approximately 40 pages in length. The first half of the book is the story of Planet ERATH (and the big plastic discovery). When you flip the book around, the second half is an activity book, with around 20 mini projects that kids can do to address the plastic problem in their everyday life, alone or with others. A downloadable guideline for parents/guardians will also be provided with each book.
The book’s target age group is 5-10 years (but we hope younger and older humans will also appreciate it!).
The book will be printed on FSC paper.
We have a small family business called BEE Environmental Communication. Our focus for the past years has been on visual storytelling for environmental issues, through different mediums such as animated videos and illustrations (check out our website). But our dream has always been to create resources for kids.
I’m Sarah – mother of two boys, a cultural hybrid, and an environmental scientist. I am responsible for managing this project, making sure that the science is correct, and keeping our team caffeinated!
Gyuszi is my husband, a proud dad who is always coming up with amazing stories. Originally a teacher, later trained as an environmental lawyer, a lover and expert of creative communications, and a published author. He is the brainchild behind the book.
Lehel is one of the best designers we know. Not only do we love his illustrative style, but we have found a great team dynamic working together in the past, which is continuing on this project too.
The three of us are the driving force behind Planet ERATH.
Why we need you – and what we offer in return
Right now, we have a draft of the book (text) as well as a few illustrations. We need your support to help to finish the book – finalizing the illustrations, text and making it print-ready. Our goal with this Kickstarter is to print and ship 500 copies of the book. If we receive more support and pre-orders, we will of course make more copies! Check our rewards to see what you can get by supporting us!
Here is a breakdown of our budget for the funding goal:
Design and layout: 15%
Writing and editing: 15%
Printing 500 copies: 50%
Shipping logistics: 10%
Kickstarter fees: 10%
Now till March 2018 – finalizing the book
April 2018 – printing and shipping
Thanks to all of you who are supporting our project!
We know this project would not be possible without many others who have helped along the way.
A huge thanks to Dénes, for the amazing video.
Thank you to Oana, Goska, Radina, Réka, Laci, Enikő for helping us with research and design.
And a big thank you to all the families who continuously help us with your valuable inputs.
Risks and challenges
This project is low-risk. Our team is committed, and in the past we have worked together to meet tight deadlines. We are partnering with an established printing company who we have also worked with previously. What we need is time to complete the book, and ensure printing and delivery. If our project is successfully funded, we aim to have the book print-ready by early 2018. If there are any delays we will keep you posted and work on delivering your book asap!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)