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Have you spotted any squirrels recently? Can you 'squirrel away' and help combat climate change?

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

Have you spotted any squirrels running around under the trees in the park, or on your way to school? What do you think they are up to?  

Instead of gathering nuts and seeds, your challenge this week is to ‘squirrel away’ old wrapping paper, colourful magazines, string, ribbon, last year’s Christmas cards, buttons - things that would otherwise be thrown away – to reuse for Christmas gift wrapping that looks cool and is much kinder to our planet then foil and glitter wrap or plastic sticky tape that cannot be recycled.  How about odd socks or cutting up old shirts to make reusable wrappings, but please make sure you check with your parent/ carer first! You could also collect pine cones to add to your stash, and nearer the time some holly, yew, bay or rosemary leaves if you are lucky enough to have some growing nearby. Go to our 'Gallery' page to see some wrapping examples.

Instead of a muddy hole in the garden, can you create a treasure box that you can keep your stash in, and add to over the next few weeks? – you could use an old shoe box, a large cereal box, or even a shopping bag – perhaps you can decorate it too and fill it up again after Christmas with ribbons, bows, wrapping paper and cards saved from your presents.

This is a great time of year to spot squirrels gathering nuts and seeds and then hiding their stash away by burying it underground to use later when food is short. People once thought that only humans, and maybe other apes, were capable of this sort of thinking, which is all about acting today for future needs – but looking carefully at squirrels and birds shows that this is not the case!  This is just the sort of thinking we need if we are going to tackle climate change – taking action now so that children in the future have enough food and a safe home on our planet.

For a Christmassy reminder of which wrapping items can be recycled and which can't you may enjoy watching this video

You may have heard that nearly 200 countries are taking part in United Nations climate talks in Madrid this week. They are expected to agree important carbon-trading mechanisms and compensation for poor countries with rising sea levels. We need more ambitious plans to cut emissions – at the moment global carbon emissions are still rising every year.  Here is a 60 second BBC Newsround introduction to what it's all about.

Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have squirrelled away your stash of reusable wrappings to complete the challenge. If you’d like to send us a photo of your treasure box or your wrapped presents we will put it on the 'Gallery' page on the Young Climate Warriors website!


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