Jaime collecting litter by the canal Jaime collecting litter by the canal

Jaime, eco warrior, Hemel Hempstead

I think that litter is always something I have been aware of. I have always known it can kill animals. If I had the chance to talk directly to people who litter I would ask them if they realised what they were doing can kill animals.

I enjoy visiting the canal. During lockdown we explored further and further. I like how calm it is and seeing all of the boats. I think more people should enjoy it. I think it’s important to keep rivers and canals clear of litter because of all the birds and other animals there.

This year I’ve asked for an eco-friendly birthday with no balloons or plastic. I have a supportive family and they are happy about this. Sometimes I teach them things about the environment that I read in books.

Family picking litter by the canal

I have a book called ‘Plastic Sucks’ and it gives lots of tips for how to cut down the amount of plastic you use. At home I have started drinking a different type of milk that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle and I use a bamboo toothbrush. If we all make lots of small changes we can make bigger changes happen together.

Science is my favourite subject at school. During lockdown I was allowed to watch nature programmes like ‘Blue Planet’. Watching these programmes doesn’t make me worry. It’s difficult to explain. They make me want to get lots of other people involved in cleaning up litter and helping to make a difference.

We can definitely change the future but we can’t start trying in five years time. We have to start now. My advice for other young people about how to start making a difference is to go on litter picks with your family and try to clean up your local area.

Jaime on a bridge over the Grand Union Canal Jaime on a bridge over the Grand Union Canal