Plastic pollution is as frightening as ever. In fact, over eight million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year. The sheer scale of this is incomprehensible, and we have a long way to go before we can repair this damage. It just so happens that children of today may be our unlikely saviours.
Children have the power to change public opinion. Greta Thunberg, a recognised climate activist, has done just this. In 2019, Greta spoke up and questioned world leaders at the UN Climate Conference. She was also named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year at just sixteen years old.
Our oceans need help, and with activists like Greta leading the way, our children might be the key to saving them. Here’s how you can encourage your little ones to make a big impact through small actions.
Choosing to consciously consume
First and foremost, you can encourage your children to consume products consciously. Upon first consideration, this may seem like the sole responsibility of adults. While adults are expected to make these decisions, younger generations can also be trusted to think with the oceans in mind.
Children might, for example, choose to not drink water from a plastic bottle. This does mean that you (as the adult) will first have to provide them with a reusable option. The choice still lies with the child though. It is the little things like this that amount to lifelong habits and meaningful changes.
Decorating home recycling bins
In England, only 43.8 per cent of household waste was recycled between March 2020 and 2021. To get your family into the sustainable spirit, your little ones can decorate the recycling bins. This is a fun activity that will remind your children why recycling is so important.
You may have bought your own mini bins that stay in your kitchen. Well, these are perfect for a little arts and crafts. Whether you want to colour code or draw examples of which waste item goes in each bin, a crafted bin is more likely to convince family members to recycle their goods.
Campaign for better recycling in school
In addition to this, children can also campaign for better recycling routes in schools. Similar to homes, students and teachers produce a lot of waste within schools, and this should all be recycled properly. If it isn’t, pupils can address this issue and ask for it to be improved.
To channel their inner Greta, young people can think about their goals for the future. This should then be reflected in the world around them. If not, it is important that they feel confident enough to step up and campaign for what they believe in.
Weekend beach cleaning
Activism isn’t a Monday-to-Friday activity. We should be considering ways to save the oceans every day of the week. This includes weekends, and what could be more fun than visiting the beach on a Saturday afternoon?
While there, your children can go out of their way to stop loose litter from entering the waters. If this is something they would like to do, adults should provide protective gloves and rubbish bags. Also, remember to pack some kid’s waterproofs against the sea spray.
These are some of the ways your children can save the oceans from plastic pollution. It doesn’t stop there. Little ones can continue to think with the ocean in mind throughout their daily life.