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  • Young Climate Warriors

World Environment Day - bin the disposable culture and start upcycling!

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Have you ever had a bit of a panic when you’ve remembered it’s someone’s birthday and you don’t have a card or present for them??? Or felt sad that your pencil case is all tatty and you only have one broken yellow pencil and two browns left?  Yikes!!  What will you do??

If you’re lucky enough to have some pocket money it might seem as easy as a couple of clicks to buy something new online. But as Young Climate Warriors can you get more creative, make a really personal gift, and help care for our planet at the same time??? Today - Friday 5th June - as we launch this challenge, is World Environment Day … by resisting the urge to always ‘buy something new’ … and instead thinking about the abundance of good things we already have … can you help challenge our ‘disposable culture’, reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change?

Can you turn an old jam jar or baked-beans can into a penholder and rummage to the back of the desk drawers to find some old pencils that only need sharpening to be good as new? Or maybe you could turn your jar or can into a flower vase or plant pot – and bring nature inside? Or make it easier to buy dry foods without packaging: collect jars with lids to store things like dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips, label and decorate with colourful permanent markers, and find a local store where you can buy these items without any packaging?

If you are looking for present ideas - such as for Father’s Day, how about a jar full of lovely promises – maybe one a day for a week?! You could promise to read him a favourite story or poem; help him choose his outfit; lie down on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds together; bring him a nice cold drink and some slices of apple when he is working; or walk barefoot on the grass together!  You’ll need an old jar with a lid and some scrap paper for your promises. Decorate the jar and your promises. Fold them up and pop them in the jar so he can open one a day!

Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have 'upcycled' a jar or can instead of throwing it away!

World Environment Day, organised by the United Nations, encourages worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment - it's Time for Nature.  This year is being hosted by Colombia, with a focus on Biodiversity.  Nature plays an essential role in supporting life on earth – cleaning our air and water, providing raw materials and fertile soils and pollinators for food production. Our biodiversity is heavily threatened by changes in land-use, climate change and pollution – all being exacerbated by our ‘disposable culture’.

As Young Climate Warriors, you’re probably already trying to reduce, reuse and recycle. Unlike plastics, glass and metal can be recycled again and again. You can make 20 recycled aluminium drinks cans with the same amount of energy it takes to make one from raw materials!

If you’d like to find out more about how glass and cans are recycled, you might be interested in these one-minute animations:  (glass) and (metal cans).  Or click here to read about some inspirational ‘zero waste warriors’ who are trying to live without producing any waste at all:

For more ideas on upcycling, you could watch this BBC clip about a project in Austria

Have fun upcycling your glass and metal containers and remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON!


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