Young Residents Create Content to Inspire Climate Action

In June, young residents worked with Merton Council’s Climate team and Towards Employment team to produce exciting and engaging content to encourage sustainable behaviour changes and climate action in Merton. 

Tasked with creating content for friends, relatives and other residents from minority ethnic backgrounds, they produced a suite of ‘How to Videos’ including: 

  • How to use old plastic containers and packaging to water and grow vegetables.
  • Getting creative with your food waste to create your own lemon and lime infused coco butter body lotion.
  • Upcycling clothing by using tie dye techniques.
  • Donating clothes to your local charity shop, to prevent clothes waste. 

Not only did young residents share great ideas on how to live more sustainably, they also developed valuable digital marketing skills in market research, social media campaigning, and content development, to add to their CV. They were also compensated for their time in gift vouchers and lunch, paid for by the Council.  

Addressing climate change is a bigger problem than the residents, or the Council can tackle alone, but these videos highlight that there are positive ways that residents can become involved in reducing emissions, which may simultaneously save them money, improve health and protect the natural environment.  

Take a look at the ‘How to’ videos on our social media channels under the hashtag #MertonClimateAction and find out more about what the Council are doing to address climate change here and see the links below to find out what you can do to reduce your emissions.  

Improving the energy efficiency of your home – Even the smallest measures can save you money e.g., draught proofing windows or doors, fitting LED bulbs, washing clothes on a colder temperature setting. See Sustainable Merton’s Energy Saving Handbook for more ideas  

Active travel to school or work – Not only does cycling or walking mean that you avoid paying for public transport, but it also reduces emissions and improves our overall health. See Sustrans website for inspiration regarding active travel.  

Reducing food waste – Getting creative in the kitchen to use food that might be slightly past its best. How could we preserve it so that we don’t bin it and also save us money in the process.  

Consider our fashion choices – Clothes often aren’t cheap, but the ones that are don’t normally last that long and it can mean they are being made at the expense of someone else, or at the expense of the environment. Consider how we could spend less on new clothes? Could you reinvent the ones you do have? Maybe try a clothes swap like Swopitup, or rent an item if you think you might only need it once or twice.  

*This project with young residents marks the start of wider efforts to engage with residents in high climate risk areas of the borough, where the proportion of residents from low income and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups also happens to be highest. This is important in reducing emissions in a fair and equitable way. This means that the benefits of climate action are shared equally (not just with those able to pay), and that any future resources to improve climate resilience are allocated to the wards and the residents in most need.  

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