Fun ways to be more eco-friendly
Have a picnic, play some new games and more
The UK is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (known as COP26) in Glasgow.
World leaders have come together to discuss the urgent actions needed to tackle the climate crisis it's hoped that it will result in some big decisions made by countries all around the world on how they can work together to reduce the impact of climate change.
In our 2019 Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 88% of girls aged 7-21 felt it was urgent that we all do more to protect the environment. World leaders are the ones that can make international change happen, but there are actions we can take as individuals to help too. We’ve put together some ideas that can be done alone or with a unit to think about how we can all help limit the effects of climate change.
Try a plant-based picnic
Plant-based diets can help to reduce our carbon footprints, which is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air because of our individual energy use, like the transportation we use, the food we eat and the things we buy.
You could try doing a green week with your unit, swapping out snacks that contain meat or dairy with plant-based substitutes. Make sure to check for any allergies or dietary restrictions beforehand. As well as being a great chance to learn as a unit how plant-based foods are a better option for the environment, it’s a great chance to try out some new, yummy foods. Lots of supermarkets have cheap plant-based options to try. Taste egg and meat free scotch eggs, dairy-free chocolate or vegan marshmallows. It’s also an easy way to realise just how much food doesn’t have animal products in to try some of the tasty vegetarian favourites too – give hummus, falafel and tabbouleh a try!
Switch off and unplug
Switching off lights and electrical items when you are not using them means you are not wasting energy. You could ask the girls to design posters to remind each other to switch off, have some or all of a unit meeting in the dark and playing games with light – we've got some suggestions to bring the light inside in our Activity ideas for darker nights blog, or have a discussion about ways to save energy, like having showers instead of baths.
Every product we buy has a carbon footprint from the moment it is made to when it is used in your unit. Reducing, recycling and reusing things we use can help protect the planet and we have lots of badges that can help young members learn about reducing their waste. There's a Recycling interest badge for Rainbows, Zero Waste interest badge for Brownies and Guides can do the Conscious consumer and Upcycling interest badges.
Take a look at the Save the planet unit meeting activity topic in packs 3, 4 and 5 for some more environmental activities, have a go at the Wrap it up unit meeting activity with Guides to learn how to make beeswax wraps and take action on littering with Rainbows in the Litter critters activity. Wrap it up and Litter critters are both free to download.