Global Good Awards Founder Karen Sutton was welcomed by the Year 5 and 6 children of Polegate School recently when she talked to them about the hazards of plastics pollution and the importance of the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ mantra. Her talk formed part of the East Sussex school’s Environmental Week where Rosie Niblock, from Brighton-based Fashion Revolution, also addressed the children on the problems posed by fast fashion.
Karen kicked off her session by illustrating the dangers of waste plastics to wildlife. “I got all the children to tie rubber bands around their wrists and fingers, which they found really uncomfortable,” she explains. “I then showed them a photograph of a seal with a fishing net around its neck to give them a better understand of the impact of plastic in the ocean…The relief they showed when they were able to take their rubber bands off was enormous and the photo really made an impact.”
Karen also shared tips on how they could cut out their use of straws – simply ask for ‘ice, no straw’ – and that moving over to bar soap at home (over pump dispenser bottles) would help save their families’ money as well as the planet. Another suggestion, asking for regular bars in place of chocolate eggs this Easter didn’t go down as well, despite Karen pointing out that for every chocolate egg, there’s two pieces of needless plastic and you also receive three times the amount of chocolate for the same money… Other topics discussed included the use of single-use water bottles, the not-so-glitzy story behind glitter and the truth about chewing gum.
Karen was struck by the amount the children knew and was impressed by how engaged they were with the subject. “They were really enthusiastic and gave me real hope for the future,” she said.
Nicola Hadley, teacher and Environment Week lead at Polegate School said that pupils were already responding to the talk. “It is safe to say that the children were inspired and are already making small changes to affect big change on our environment,” she commented.