Attenborough and Thunberg more inspiring than politicians

A survey of 2,000 mums and dads with kids aged 5-16 found 74 per cent of their little ones are passionate about fighting climate change.

And while they want to teach their children about the climate crisis, 55 per cent of parents admit they are often the ones learning from their kids. A fifth (19 per cent) feel their children know more about how to reduce the family’s impact on the environment than they do.

More than half (51 per cent) have even been TOLD OFF by their children for not doing something environmentally friendly or sustainable.

Leaving the lights on was the main reason, followed by accidentally putting recycling in with the main waste, not switching the TV off, leaving the tap running and wasting food.

Overall, 64 per cent would like their children to follow in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg and be passionate about protecting the environment.

The study also found that while politicians, world leaders and key influencers might be the most vocal about climate change, they are not necessarily the people kids are looking towards for inspiration, according to parents.

Teachers act as the main driving force behind children caring about the environment and promoting sustainability.

And the world’s two best-known environmentalists, David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, are far more likely to inspire children than politicians.

A quarter (28 per cent) of parents have had an electric car suggested to them by their kids, while 29 per cent have been told about energy-efficient smart gadgets such as smart thermostats and smart radiator valves.

It’s not just gadgets though – with 31 per cent of parents polled via OnePoll encouraged to buy reusable drinks cups and 29 per cent told to buy multi-use straws.

The research was carried out by BT to launch The BT Big Sofa Summit to get the UK talking about the environment and demonstrate how small lifestyle changes and smart tech can be used to help aid the fight against climate change at home.

Andy Wales, chief digital impact and sustainability officer at BT Group, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges right now, so it’s encouraging to see how important the environment is to young people across the UK.

“Parents are doing their bit to educate their children, but they’re also learning from their kids at the same time, which is great.

“We want to use our reach and expertise through the Big Sofa Summit to spark a conversation about climate change and inspire everyone to make small sustainable steps, embracing technologies available to help them become greener at home.”


Chris Price