A new nation-wide survey has revealed that over half of Leeds residents are prepared to ‘make significant lifestyle changes’ to fight climate change.
At 59 per cent, this figure is two per cent above the national average - and includes measures such as eating less meat and using cars less, in a bid to battle climate change.
One of the most promising statistics to emerge from the survey is that people are determined that the next generation contribute to saving the planet. They are, after all, more likely to experience and inherit the consequences of global warming. 78 per cent of parents questioned believe that, at some point, it is important for their children to be educated on sustainability and the preservation of the environment.
Modular Classrooms, who conducted the survey, asked parents’ opinions on the ideal age for children to start learning about these issues and how to combat them in an environmentally-friendly manner. Overall, the majority of Leeds parents felt nursery and reception age - three-to-five - is the most appropriate time for children to be taught about the environment.
As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that the survey also found 60 per cent of parents admit they would be influenced when selecting a school based on its environmental credentials; that is, a school that encourages recycling or teaches learners about environmental impact. In fact, when sending children to school it was found that for 54 pe cent of parents feel the most important environmental factor to consider is if the building is sustainably constructed. This was followed by: the building being energy efficient (22 per cent), providing recycling bins (20 per cent) and vegetarian or vegan options being provided in the canteen (four per cent).
Encouragingly, it seems as though children are already beginning to take note of how we impact the environment, as one-third of parents say their kids have educated them at times on eco issues, such as recycling. Almost three-quarters of parents say they try to lead by example when it comes to teaching kids about taking care of the planet. And 47 per cent admit that they try to purchase products without plastic wrapping while grocery shopping, which is a great example for younger generations to follow.
While recycling isn’t a common process in every school in the UK, 80 per cent of parents said they have faith that if recycling bins were provided, pupils would make a conscious effort to make use of them.
The survey also found 41 per cent of Brits believe that more careers are now available for young people should they wish to study environmental science as part of their education.
“It’s encouraging to see that so many people are willing to make changes to their lives to safeguard not only their future, but the future of their children.” says Mark Brown of Modular Classrooms.
“We can all do our bit, and what children learn in the classroom will have a big impact.”