In Britain, a survey for the country’s environmental youth trust, funded by Barclay LivingLand, showed that although nine out of ten parents tell their kids not to litter almost five in ten children have witnessed their moms or dads littering. Fewer than half the parents explained to children that littering harms the environment. Practice what you preach certainly applies here. The UK Daily Mail trumpets the headline: "Parents accused over litter".
Coincidentally, meanwhile, in the middle of the Indian Ocean on Mahé Island in the Republic of Seychelles, researchers from Imperial College London discovered another telling find.
Their study of EE and how it influences behaviour at home gives quantitative evidence to suggest that children, who receive EE, do influence their parents’ environmental attitudes and behaviours, even when they’re not trying to.
IOP Publishing released the findings Feb. 13 Environmental Research Letters in a paper by Peter Damerell, who headed the Department of Life Sciences team. Among their observations are that EE begun early will likely last forever, and unenlightened behaviours are not impossible to turn around either.
The entire abstract is available HERE.
Taken together these studies help cement what we keep stressing about litter awareness. They explain why our program’s blend of music, kids, litter education and model behaviours becomes a lasting partnership that is transferrable across generations.
I take this new evidence to heart. It validates what we’re doing at the Litter Prevention Program. It proves there is science behind what we are doing and that young people truly are the levers of behavioral change who can turn us to a time when nobody litters, wouldn’t even think of it.