"They haven’t quite got the hang of such concepts as money or waste. Toilet rolls are something to be spun rapidly, a la Andrex puppy..."
This week I’ve been busy at work covering the COP21 climate change talks in Paris, where 195 countries are thrashing out an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop global warming.
I still remember the Keep Scotland Tidy campaign from when I was growing up, so it’s got me thinking it’s never too early to get children involved in saving the planet. And if they can sort through the recycling and put it out on a Wednesday morning before 8am then that would be even better...
Unfortunately at the ages of 4 and 2, they haven’t quite got the hang of such concepts as money or waste. Toilet rolls are something to be spun rapidly, a la Andrex puppy, until a ribbon of paper decorates the bathroom. Shrieks of hilarity are my cue to enter the room, at which point I will have to reverse-fill the roll back up again while trying to explain that toilet paper costs money and you can’t waste it. Five minutes later I will be left wondering if my children’s ears are purely decorative features as they are now playing karate chop with vast quantities of loo roll.
When it comes to litter, my two are pretty good at not dropping it on the ground. Instead I am the lucky recipient of all empty packets, half-eaten biscuits and the occasional lollipop stick. Even when there is a bin right beside me…
The other day I left the utility room and switched off the light. A few minutes later I switched it off again, telling myself off for leaving it on as it also controls a very noisy fan. When it came to the third and fourth time of turning the light off I realised somebody else was turning the light back on. Now that my nearly-five-year-old can now reach the light switches, our house is lit up like a Christmas tree.
However, now that we have put up our Christmas tree (yes, it’s a wee bit early) the kids love looking at the lights twinkle in the dark. Hopefully we’ll save energy by having fewer lights on elsewhere in the house! And we’ll get plenty of practice with the recycling when it comes to unwrapping the presents, not to mention drinking a few bottles (grown ups only on that one). Saving electricity, water (don’t they realise we’re on a meter when they leave taps running?) and recycling paper may not seem big issues, but every little helps when it comes to our planet’s future.
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
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