I don’t personally love the idea of taking shells from the beach but if you or your kids love it (or if you’re like us and your little ones come home from the beach with granny and a handful of shells) a library system is worth a thought. A way to limit how many shells never find their way back to the shore and to steer kids away from the mentality that humans can just take whatever the fuck they want.
Something to ponder... what if we challenged the discourse around nature being separate to humans? For example, we say how nice it is to spend time in nature when we swim in the ocean or go for a bush walk. But in the same way beavers use trees to build a dam (and we consider that as nature doing its thing) don’t we also take resources from the earth to make what we need or want? Seeing nature as separate to us can be detrimental. For example, the ocean and bush are effected by human presence. The fuel from a boat, the path we make through the trees all have a profound impact. Likewise, nature has a massive impact on us. The air we breathe, the weather. It’s all connected. If you have a water tank you would know the value of rain and use water sparingly. When there’s no connection, water just magically comes from the tap and disappears down the drain. Maybe, if we saw ourselves as part of biodiversity and the complex systems that are so interconnected, we might change the way we use the Earth’s resources. As parents, I believe it is important to teach our kids that everything is not just there for humans to take and to try, when possible, to appreciate the Earth’s beautiful wonders from the habitats they contribute to. But at the end of the day we cannot deny our presence in the landscape and therefore when we do inevitably take and make an imprint, to understand the value and put thought into this process.