Little changes

From switching to glass milk bottles to writing a protest song, the children at Unity Community Primary School tell us about their environmental campaigning

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“We are skipping our lessons, to teach you a lesson!” That has been the rallying cry of millions of children around the world this year.

Fed up with the mess previous generations have left behind on the planet for them to clean up, kids from 100 different countries have put down their pencils and picked up their placards to march through the streets in a global climate change protest. But some grown-ups are listening and some great environmental work has been happening in schools too. Here, four pupils from Year 6 explain the current climate crisis, tell us what they’re doing to help tackle it, and consider the future of our planet.

Crisis: Saeeda

There is no Planet B. We all live on Earth, but if we don’t do something about global warming we won’t be living here much longer.

The sea levels are rising and ice caps are melting. The world is heating up and there’s way more flooding, with people having to be evacuated from their houses. The polar bears are losing their homes because the ice caps are melting and the creatures that live in the oceans and seas are dying because they are eating our rubbish – plastic that is being thrown into the sea by humans.

So what is causing all this change? The main reasons our climate is changing are: pollution from cars, greenhouse gases and methane and carbon dioxide, some of which comes from animals. These gases prevent the heat that is emitted by the earth from escaping and so it causes global warming.

The consequences include plants and crops not growing well and a lack of rain, causing drought. We can solve this by planting more trees and plants. If we do this we can contribute towards reducing the impact of global warming.

Some people do not believe that climate change exists, but did you know that from 2000 to 2009 we had the hottest decade since records began?

Placards: Natalia

”What I stand for is what I stand on.”

“Stop it – don’t drop it.”

“Plastic fish – not a good dish.”

These are just some of the slogans we put on placards to get our message across about global warming.

In Year 6 we are all environmentally aware and we want to make a difference. We made posters to raise awareness of issues, including using plastic once then throwing it away. We also highlighted that plastic gets discarded and ends up in the sea, killing thousands of sea creatures. We realised there was a need to educate others about what they can do to change things and that means older people as well as younger ones.

When we were designing the posters we realised they needed to be bright and colourful so they would stand out to anyone who saw them. The wording had to be short and clear because people might not get our message if it was too long.

What annoys me the most is people who are not willing to recycle their plastic. If I see rubbish I will pick it up and put it in the bin. I drink out of the water fountain rather than bringing a plastic bottle to school. At home I make sure rubbish goes into the right bin if it can be recycled and I tell people off if they do not put their waste into the right bin.

Making the placards made me feel better because I was spreading awareness and doing my bit.

Some of our other messages were: ”Earth is crying, animals are dying.”

“One day this dirt will horribly hurt you.”

“Save the Earth.”

We have only one planet and we don’t want to lose it.

Song: Manshi

People from all over the world can see us singing our song Water Revolution. It is all about pollution and climate change and it is on YouTube (youtu.be/gpI2Eleqxak). In just two months it has had more than 400 views.

We had been learning about pollution and climate change in class and we decided to come up with a song. We came up with the lyrics and based them on Dr Seuss books. We told Manchester Camerata that we had made a song about pollution and they helped us to set it to music and also helped with some of the words.

The song was recorded on our school staircase next to the library and our teacher Mrs Cox helped us record it. We also sang the song at school to the other classes and to parents in an assembly. Everybody really liked the song and said it was really inspiring and powerful.

“Look what you have done to the water so heavenly, gloopy, malignant, toxic and venomly/ It is like you have unleashed a pollutistic beast/ Whose powers are causing environment trouble oh – yeah trouble…”

These are some of the lyrics we sang while holding up placards we had made. I am really happy with the song and I hope it will stop people polluting the water.

Future: Aramide

What if we do nothing? In years to come I believe that animals will die in the seas because of plastic. Please do not throw your plastic on the ground or it will end up in the sea and then end up in the creatures that live in the sea.

If you drive cars a lot you will be using lots of petrol and that is just going to pollute the air around all of us. Instead you could walk to work, hop on a tram or a bus or why not cycle? Rather than going to the supermarket and buying fruit and veg with a plastic wrapper on, bring your own container or go to a market.

In school we always make sure we put paper and card in a special bin to recycle. We litter pick around the area to keep it clean and we recycle the waste that we have in school.

In Year 2 the pupils wrote to the head to ask if we could have glass milk bottles instead of plastic ones because they worked out that we used 40,000 in a year. School was happy to change and now the milk is poured from a glass bottle into a reusable cup.

If nobody does anything what will our world be like? I believe it is going to be nasty and really horrible, dirty and depressing, and there will not be a world left for us to live on.

Reduce, reuse, recycle and help us to save the planet for all of our futures.

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