The environment and air pollution is the most important issue for 32% of young Brits aged 11-16, according to new research.
The survey by National Citizen Service (NCS) found that 64% of children in the UK have decided to make fundamental lifestyle changes in a bid to help save the planet.
The research also reveals that 87% of secondary school children have already made changes in the last year in a bid to combat climate change. Nearly half (43%) – have stopped using plastic straws, 11% have stopped using aerosols, 8% no longer eat at big chain restaurants like McDonalds and 11% have given up taking baths or long showers in a bid to save water.
NCS commissioned the survey to coincide with Clean Air Day. NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to bring together young people from different backgrounds helping them to gain confidence, build life skills and become more active citizens in their communities.
Adam Boita, Director of Brand Marketing at NCS, said: “It’s no surprise that the environment and air pollution top the list of concerns for young people, and it’s heartening to see so many have made fundamental lifestyle changes to help save the planet.
“Our research highlights that young people are already making strides towards saving our planet with their daily choices.”
THE TOP 10 THINGS TEENS HAVE GIVEN UP TO SAVE THE PLANET:
- Plastic bags (45%) and Plastic straws (43%)
- Bottled water (25%)
- Meat (20%)
- Leaving tech on standby (15%)
- Taking baths or long showers (11%)
- Aerosols (11%)
- Face wipes or single use cotton pads (11%)
- Fast Fashion (10%)
- Dairy products (9%)
- Eating at big chain restaurants like McDonalds (8%)Source: NCS
While young people in the UK are championing environmental efforts, it’s the adults that are lagging behind, as research found many of the young people to be frustrated by their parents’ lack of interest and action when it comes to environmental issues. According to NCS, 5% say their parents aren’t at all interested in the effects of climate change and 54% complain that they’re only ‘a little bit concerned’.
Nearly half of parents confess their children have asked them to make changes to save the planet, which they have not made. As a result, most urge their mums and dads to make changes – but often to no avail. Nine per cent say they’ve simply ignored all their requests and 35 per cent admit they’ve only implemented some.
Young people in Exeter created a giant moss wall on the most polluted road in their home town in a bid to tackle high pollution, under the NCS programme.
NCS graduate, Finn Lowther, 17, from Exeter, said: “Taking part in NCS gave me the tools to make a difference – I’ve always been concerned about the environment, and the programme connected me with other young people in my area so that we could develop ideas for change together.
“We noticed that one road in our area was particularly busy, so decided to plant a moss wall alongside it to help combat emissions. I never would have thought to do this alone, but NCS allowed our team to develop a bigger idea that would make a tangible difference.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com