Children and young people are more aware than any other generation before them of the long-term damage that has been done to our planet and the need to act swiftly; to demonstrate in a way that makes politicians, advertisers and manufacturers have to sit up and take notice.
With teenagers taking to the streets in protest as part of the School Strike 4 Climate Movement there is an ever-rising environmental consciousness spearheaded by the 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, and amplified by the actions of other young people such as 19-year-old Artemisa Xakriabá, 13 year old Autumn Peltier and 11-year-old Mari Copeny.
It was reported this months that the sales of reusable straws increased 1,573 per cent at John Lewis. Reusable water bottle sales were up 15 per cent and portable cutlery sales increased 176 per cent.
That’s why online gift guide The Present Finder believes that more and more searches on their website are for gifts that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, eco-conscious and vegan. That parents are being pushed to ‘go green’ with presents such as books that tell tales of other inspirational environmental activists, that give tips of ways to save the planet, that are plastic-free or recycled.
Zoe Vigus lives in Torpoint, Cornwall, and is mum to nine year old Joey. She said: “Joey is a very inquisitive little boy. He is greatly interested in the environment, wildlife and the world and the universe around us. He is constantly absorbing information and new facts which has prompted him to see how he can make a difference which in turn has made us as a family to want to do all we can to help the environment including specific and carefully selected Christmas presents. We recycle more than we did and Joey ensures we buy nothing with palm oil in. We also live on a beach and regularly pick up litter at Joeys request. Climate change is a popular topic of conversation and how it is going to affect future generations. Joey’s older sister joined a climate protest recently.”
Joey is even more mindful when it comes to Christmas: “I think that this Christmas in particular needs to be more eco friendly because 2019 has been one of the worst years for the environment and we as the human race need to take action for 2020. My inspiration is Greta Thunberg because I love that she is determined and focused and her one life goal is to make a difference and she never gives up! She has masses of resilience and will do anything for the environment. To make a difference I sometimes pick up litter on my way home from school and often do beach cleans. I really hope that’s made a difference.
Skyla McDonald is nine years old and lives in London. Her mum Cassandra says that school has had a big influence on how her daughter thinks about the environment: “They are taught to reduce, reuse and recycle and so she has inspired us to be more conscious of what we buy and how it is used as well as what effects it has on the environment. I have always been conscious of recycling and we have always separated our rubbish, however I have adapted to reusable make-up wipes and bamboo ear buds. I also try not to buy any food in black plastic as it can’t be recycled as easily.”
Skyla agrees: “At school we have become aware that there is too much plastic packaging used and we need to cut down. But I have been really inspired by watching David Attenborough and so we make sure we only buy items that don’t come in plastic, organic fresh fruit and vegetables that are not in plastic. We use more recycled products. Also I like to recycle and reuse items for arts and crafts, and do community clean ups.”
Charlie Somerville is eleven years old and lives in Plymouth. He and his brothers make a conscious daily effort to reduce waste and plastic to stay environmentally friendly: “We use bamboo toothbrushes, re-useable cups, metal straws and have been doing litter-picks. But I think what is important is to do it yourself as well as encouraging other people to do it – or it won’t make much difference.”
He added: “I think it would be better if Christmas was done in a more eco-friendly way this year. Because our world is changing and things like climate change and polluting the ocean can be stopped by changing the way we do things – but keeping the same traditions. You can make a difference but still have fun.”
With Charlie’s advice in mind, here are The Present Finders’ top five gifts for school kid climate warriors this year:
Zero Waste Snack ‘n’ Go Pouch: https://www.thepresentfinder.co.uk/buy/zero-waste-panda-sandwich-bag_4127.htm
2. Up-cycled Toothpaste Tube Pencil Case: https://www.thepresentfinder.co.uk/buy/upcycled-toothpaste-pencil-case_3351.htm
3. Eco-Friendly Great Barrier Reef Notebook: https://www.thepresentfinder.co.uk/buy/eco-friendly-great-barrier-reef-notebook_3782.htm
4. Simple Acts to Save our Planet: https://www.thepresentfinder.co.uk/buy/simple-acts-to-save-our-planet-book_3660.htm
5. Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wraps: https://www.thepresentfinder.co.uk/buy/lunch-pack-of-beeswax-food-wraps_3926.htm