Friday 24th May sees another global school strike in aid of climate change.
The website promoting this event “Fridays for Future” states –
#FridaysforFuture is a peoples movement following the call from @GretaThunberg to school strike.
Why are kids striking?
children are required to attend school. But with the worsening Climate
Destruction this goal of going to school begins to be pointless.
– Why study for a future, which may not be there?
– Why spend a lot of effort to become educated, when our governments are not listening to the educated?
For many people there is no doubt that there is a climate crisis happening at this very moment. Governments are not enacting change quickly enough to make a difference any time soon. Consumers however could make a huge difference very quickly with a change of attitude and minor change of lifestyle.
How many of these schoolchildren are ferried around to after school clubs? How many of these children use single use plastics every day? Now multiply that by their additional family members and you have a huge consumer base.
Maybe if these children went home and helped prepare a meal then their parents would buy less processed and plastic packaged food and demand would go down? Maybe if these children drank water from the tap instead of water and soda from plastic bottles there would be less demand for plastic. Possibly if children learned skills such as cooking, growing their own food, making their own clothes, the demand for fast fashion and processed food would reduce. Think of the difference it would make to air pollution if children walked to school.
A child walking home from school and preparing potatoes and carrots bought from the local store without plastic or grown in the garden means two less plastic bags used and a reduction in exhaust fumes. A parent being able to prepare a stew in a slow cooker with produce without plastic means at least one less plastic bag used. For a family of 4, this simple change in daily habits for one meal could save the possible use of plastic from 4 plastic microwave trays or up to 6 plastic wrappers for convenience food.
Parents nowadays are very often time short, often because children are not expected to take part in the running of the household. Children’s time could be well utilised to dramatically reduce the demand for plastic in the developed world.
A school strike does nothing but interrupt student’s education. This time would be better spent holding a tutorial on how to live daily life without plastic. It’s all very well schoolchildren striking to draw attention to the climate crisis but until they actively take part in dramatically reducing their own plastic use, it is just lip service.
Waiting for governments is a waste of time. Plastic is produced in vast quantities because that is what consumers want. If you want to stop so much plastic being produced, you need to stop buying and using so much.
The quickest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reduce plastic production and for that you have to reduce plastic demand.