Embarrassingly it is our children taking the lead on environment concerns locally and globally.
I have just got back from my summer holiday. 2 weeks of sun and probably enough food to feed a small army. A welcomed break from my hectic life and a well needed break from my mobile. I would like to say it was relaxing but the majority of the time was spent in the pool with my daughter using me as a climbing frame, finding different ways to jump off me!!
We went away with friends and their daughter, Isabelle, who is the same age as my daughter Matilda, who is 6. At their age they have a great knack of embarrassing us parents. Whether it is loudly saying the wrong thing to make the airplane crack up laughing, telling us they need the toilet at the most inopportune moments or getting food all over them, still it is always entertaining. Because of their delightful innocence though they can say the most profound things and make us feel hugely guilty without even realising it.
The younger generation seem to be stepping up to tackle huge problems like climate change and it makes me worry about what we are leaving our children to clean up after us.
We were told by the girls, in no uncertain terms, not to get our towels and bedding changed every day because of the use of detergents, to ensure that we cleared up after ourselves on the beach and round by the pool and not to pile our plates up at the all inclusive buffet only to leave half of it and waste it. They even wanted to visit the public beach to do a litter pick up even though I assured them it would get done at the end of every day.
It made me think though how much responsibility we are putting on our kids. Should it be there job at 6 to worry about the environment, animals becoming extinct and food security? Surely this is something that we, as adults, should be dealing with now rather than leaving it for them.
We should all be doing our bit and learning valuable lessons from our children. I wouldn’t dream of dropping any litter any way but know that I would be severely told off by my daughter if she thought I did. We even have to pick up litter on the way home from school and take it home with us!
I am writing this just before the Bank Holiday weekend and we have probably all seen the disgusting photos of the beach at Leigh Old Town after a sunny weekend with revellers throwing their litter expecting somebody else to clean it up. How revolting it is and inevitably it falls to the local Scouts to clean up after these idiots. Unfortunately it will probably be exactly the same this weekend as the forecast is good and there will undoubtedly be the same scumbags leaving their rubbish on the beach once again.
So may be we should be listening and learning from the younger generation. Whether it is the inspirational Greta Thunberg the Swedish 16 year old who is calling on children to strike for climate change and is currently sailing to the U.S to pitch to the United Nations or your own sons & daughters like Matilda & Isabelle who are guilt shaming you in to picking up litter and thinking a bit more greener? We can all do our bit, however minor it seems, to leave our world a bit nicer for them and future generations after we have gone.