Children at Honey Bird rally for a cause, encouraging adults to make sustainable change
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Children at Honey Bird rally for a cause, encouraging adults to make sustainable change

Children at Honey Bird rally for a cause, encouraging adults to make sustainable change

by Freya Lucas

February 27, 2023

Sarah Kim, an early childhood teacher at Honey Bird Children’s Centre recently led the children in her care on a mission to drive sustainable change, which was sparked by learning that paper cups, which typically hold hot takeaway drinks, could not be recycled because of the polyethylene lining in the cups.


An extract of the experience, prepared by Sarah, appears below. 


“Well we don’t use cups, the grown ups do! We need to tell them to stop using them. We need to teach them to do the right thing,” Leo announced, beginning a journey which would drive sustainable change in the community. 


“We always bring our own water bottles. Grown ups should do the same for their coffee,” Alfie agreed.


In response, the educators asked the children “who do we need to speak to and what do we want to tell them?”


The children suggested a trip to a local cafe to talk with the grown-ups, to tell them to start using their own reusable cups. 


To convey this message the children began drawing recyclable cups and it was decided a poster would also work to spread the word. Dani, the barista, welcomed the children and applauded the initiative.


Displaying the poster in the front window she congratulated the group – “Oh I’m sure lots of grown-ups will learn something new from you guys!”


A new ritual soon became evident as children and families’ arrivals and departures had to include a detour past the café which continued to generate discussion among families and, most importantly, customers. The children grew in confidence, sharing their expectation that adults should take their advice seriously.


Despite the interest and enthusiasm, young Charlie soon realised that “this is only one café and I still see lots of people on the streets and at other cafes with paper cups! This is not good. We need to make more posters.” 


The children suggested many ideas of how to spread their perspective more broadly, such as letters to strangers, calls to family and friends and grandparents and cousins, video calls. 


As a group, the children agreed that they needed to “talk to strangers in the street”, and the idea of a rally was born. 


The children excitedly came up with some phrases, and began to practise their chanting and marching. 


They enthusiastically crafted placards and banners, essential props for the task at hand. “Save the future, Save the planet!”, “No more waste”, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, “Ice is melting” “Bring your own reusable cups!” were the catch phrases branded across placards.

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