As we enter a brand new year and set our new year’s resolutions, it’s a great time to reflect on how we can do our bit to help conserve and improve the natural environment.
From our analysis of The Big Ask, the largest ever survey of children which received over 550,000 responses from children across England, we know that children care deeply about the environment and are keen to get stuck in and do their bit to help. As one boy told the CCo: ‘…We need to save the planet and protect wildlife. More green jobs, homes are needed. Everything is for now not the next generation’ – Boy, aged 9, and another child also said: “Planting more trees, having good friends, people being kind to each other, helping to save the environment, healthy family and stop using so much plastic.” – No gender given, aged 8.
There are many things we can do which help the planet, both on a global scale, like reducing our carbon footprint, to a locally, such as litter picking. We’ve listed some ideas below to get you started on your journey to helping the environment this year:
- Walking to school – If possible, walk or cycle to school if you live close enough and use public transport whenever you can, rather than going by car. This will help cut down the air pollution caused by traffic.
- Reduce waste – As the saying goes; Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! Some types of plastic can’t be recycled, and plastic isn’t biodegradable, so it doesn’t break down naturally like food and paper. Swapping from disposable to re-useable items such as water bottles, lunch boxes, straws and cutlery reduces the amount that we throw away, decreasing the amount that might go into landfill.
- Look after local wildlife – One way to look after local wildlife is to allow a little bit of your garden to go wild. If grass is left to get longer and become wilder this can create new habitats for species to thrive and boost biodiversity. The Woodland Trust also have some great ideas on how to build a bug hotel to provide a safe place for all-important insects and other minibeasts!
- Learn about the world – A big part of looking after our planet is learning about the natural world, how it works and how humans can impact the environment. By learning, we can also pass on our knowledge and support others to make greener choices this year.
If you are inspired by this post, let us know, by tagging the Children’s Commissioner’s Office @ChildrensComm in your posts on social media!