We are now working with young people more than ever; in schools, colleges and universities, and at events such as our National Sustainable Schools Conference. Young people tell us that they are excited about sustainability, and that they feel passionate about making a change. And through this work, talking, teaching and learning with young people across the country, we’ve been learning. We now know that the focus topics around sustainability for youth in England are plastic pollution and food waste. And we also know how much of an impact these issues are having on young people’s lives, on their experiences, and on their mental health. Our youth are worried for the future, for their future.

There are plastic free campaigns and initiatives popping up all across the country at the moment, all you have to do is have a quick look at social media and you’ll find zero waste groups, blogs, shops, products, and more. And it’s not just online either, even in our hometown there’s several groups running plastic and single use plastic campaigns, the markets and shops are getting behind it, and there’s even a new plastic free shop that’s recently opened. It’s a wonderful epidemic of positive change which can and does offer people both young and old more choice as consumers, as members of society, and as responsible, ethical people.

So here at SEEd we want to do our part and we’re creating a resource not just to help tackle these issues, but to help young people across the UK and beyond to feel empowered and informed enough to choose to live sustainably. Because it’s not about changing everything all at once and suddenly becoming ‘super-eco’, it’s about making those small positive changes over time that lead you into a more environmentally conscious way of living. It’s about having the right knowledge and understanding that enables you to make informed choices and decisions. And it’s about understanding that you have the power to change the world, step by step, day by day.

To help make this happen we’re going to feature – here on our website and in our monthly newsletter – blogs, organisations, podcasts, people and ideas that help us live a more plastic free life day by day. We’ll let you know what we thought, and we’ll share with you our own thoughts, ideas and learning each month.

To kick things off we’re featuring an amazing new shop that opened up in Stroud in April 2018. It’s called Loose, and it’s Stroud’s first completely plastic free shop! I popped in the other day and was blown away by the range of things on offer, from seeds, nuts, pasta’s and pulses, to coffee, toothpaste, scourers and beeswax wraps; and all of it beautifully, wonderfully, free from plastic packaging or ingredients. Found on Gloucester Street in Stroud, Loose offers local residents and visitors alike the opportunity to make small yet significant changes in their daily shopping habits. All their edible produce is organic, and each of their other products is fair-trade or has been ethically sourced. Bring along your pots, tubs and bags and the friendly staff will be more than happy to fill them up with exciting goodies that are good for you, and good for the planet. Check out Loose here.

We also welcome any suggestions and input from you. Please write us a blog, send us a story, or share a really good resource with us. We’d love to know what you’re doing to live more sustainably, shop more consciously, or understand more thoroughly. If you’ve got anything you want to send in to us please email it to admin@se-ed.org.uk.

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