'I don't want to grow up walking in your rubbish': why our children are better environmentalists than we are

If you've ever worried about Earth going to hell in a handbasket, take comfort: the way Mumsnetters tell it, the next generation is a bunch of eager eco-warriors. Let's look at the evidence...

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1. Litterbugs drive them crazy



"My daughter understands that rubbish on the ground can hurt wildlife. So we always carry ours until we find a bin. In fact she shouted at a perfect stranger a few weeks back who threw their crisp packet on the floor! I was surprisingly proud."

"Cache in, trash out is a saying for geocachers, which we do a lot of. The idea is to take some rubbish away with you when out and about caching - helps keep the countryside cleaner."

2. They want us to recycle EVERYTHING


Photo: Cutandoutkeep.net

"My little one is a recyclaholic. She will save sweetie wrappers and boxes 'just in case we need them for school homework'."

"My daughter has done various school projects on recycling. As a result she didn't want any packaging in her lunchbox so now she has little Tupperware boxes for each thing."

3. They have their eye on the future

child picking up litter


"My youngest daughter says, 'I don't want to have to grow up walking in your rubbish.' I think that says it all."


4. They're green AND kind

child holding snail 


"My son's an invertebrate lover, so he always makes me rescue stray spiders, ladybirds, bees, snails."

"My daughter is fanatical about only using products that haven't been tested on animals. She knows it's a minefield, because some products contain previously tested ingredients, but she also understands that being on the right road is as important as getting it right all the time."


5. They hate waste 

boy digging vegetables 


"My son likes to help to put the vegetable waste in the compost and in the spring, dig over the veg patch using last year's compost. This leads to new veggies and more composting - a virtuous circle!"


6. They want us to conserve water. And energy

chandler bath  


"I love a long bath but they tell me to have a shower!"


7. They're concerned about fat balls (no, not THAT fat ball)

fat ball  


"My seven-year-old is very aware. Most recently she's been educating me about the fat balls in London's sewers and I am banned from putting cooking oils down the sink. I'm proud that she cares and keen to show her that she can have an influence on our household habits in a good way."

8. They're determined that EVERYONE will get on board

grandparents and grandchildren 


"We are pretty green already so we escape the pestering... however I know when we visit the grandparents the kids do like to nag them quite a bit. Our poor parents!"

9. And they're very good at turning out lights...

creed lights on  

"My daughter's fanatical about light switches lately, as ours are set lower than standard switches and she can reach them. She has started turning them off everywhere!"

...at least most of them are

"The kids pester me about recycling. I pester them about the lights."

Unilever believes there has never been a better time to create a better future for our children; a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry. Unilever brightFuture is a platform that helps unite and amplify the efforts of a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.

Last updated: 10 months ago