Nature is a common motif in most fairy tales. Often animals or “fairies” come to the rescue of the hero or heroines. Perhaps this is a reflection on the power of nature and the importance of being green in today’s world.
Specifically, “Jim and the Beanstalk,” “The Gigantic Turnip,” and “A Squash and a Squeeze” are great environmentally relevant fairy tales. Additionally, below is a website from a company that lists environmentally related fairy tales for children to learn more about the environment and its importance.
I’d even say that Goldilocks and the Three Bears could be considered green because of it’s theme of sustainability as it relates to the responsible use of resources.
Fairy tales are chalk full of innocence and morality. Whether the protagonist is a princess, prince or simply a woodland creature they are full of virtue and never hurt the planet or its inhabitants with pollution. Classic Disney characters are now being used in advertisements promoting the planet. You can find “The Little Mermaid” Ariel promoting clean oceans, “Jungle Book” characters championing the jungle and “Bambi” encouraging people to keep forests clean.
If you expand the definition even farther to include folktales from other cultures, you’ll find that a lot of East Asian (well, I’m speaking specifically about China, Japan, and Korea here) have a lot of stories and mythologies that emphasize respect for nature, among many other environmental themes.
The Green Spider Network actually organized a competition to write fairy tales about the environment. The competition was called “Are there still any sky-high bean stalks at your village?” in reference to the Jack and the Bean Stalk fairy tale. Children and adults alike were invited to create short stories about biodiversity.
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