Green Christmas wishes of schoolgirl top of eco list

editorial image

Belmont Grosvenor schoolgirl Emma Klauser is dreaming of a plastic-free Christmas – and is asking Santa Claus to follow her lead.

The seven-year-old has started an online petition to persuade Father Christmas to ditch plastic toys and plastic packaging this festive season.

And she’s calling on toy manufacturers to think more about the environment when producing the games, gadgets and playthings for children the world over.

“We have learned a lot about the environment at my school – I’m a member of Belmont Grosvenor’s Eco Club – and I’ve seen lots of depressing pictures of what plastics are doing to our oceans,” said Emma.

“I don’t think that grown-ups are doing enough to help. With Christmas coming up, I’ve been thinking about my gift list and would like to ask you to stop gifting toys made from plastic,” said the Year 3 pupil.

Belmont Grosvenor, in Harrogate, has a thriving Eco Club and its young pupils are active campaigners for environmental change. The school was awarded the coveted Eco School’s Green Flag award this year.

Reducing Belmont Grosvenor’s carbon footprint is the pupils’ goal – they recycle and reuse, take part in light switch-offs, litter picks, beach clean-ups and grow their own fruit and vegetables in the school’s 20-acres of grounds.

Nicola Shillam, Eco co-ordinator at Belmont Grosvenor School, said: “All the pupils at BGS are aware of the environmental issues affecting our world and are committed to action to help reduce our impact on the planet. Emma’s letter to Father Christmas and petition is a great way of raising awareness.”

Emma’s mum Kristin said she was proud of her daughter’s stance – and is hoping others will support her view and think of alternatives to plastic, packaging and more.

“The change starts with her. Emma understands that change is scary and that many of her friends will be hesitant. She is holding herself accountable and taking responsibility for the problem and is now offering solutions,” said Mrs Klauser.