Climate change, activism and street play

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In this guest blog, Alice Ferguson, co-director of the pioneering street play charity, Playing Out, suggests that one very practical response to the climate crisis is literally on our doorsteps.

Over the past few weeks and months, thanks largely to Greta ThunbergExtinction Rebellion and David Attenborough, we have all become starkly aware of the seriousness and speed of climate change and the urgency of taking action. The science is irrefutable. Many parents are feeling extremely anxious about their children’s futures. Children themselves have been forced to lead the way in calling for system change. It is clear that a major global political and economic shift will be needed, but – alongside campaigning for change – what can we do as individuals? Unfortunately, just switching to a bamboo toothbrush is not going to cut the mustard. But neither is giving up hope or turning a blind eye and there are bigger things we can all do to start moving towards a low-carbon future.

What can we do as individuals?

One immediate step is to use our cars less, or even to go car-free. We can also call on the government to invest in walking, cycling and green public transport. A less traffic-dominated future, where we can all breathe clean air and active travel is a safe, pleasant option for everyone – including children – is hard to argue with, simply on the grounds that it would be a lot nicer, let alone healthier and more planet-friendly. Creating more “liveable” streets and neighbourhoods would also be the best way to enable children to play out freely in their communities, with all the benefit that brings.

Street play: A simple, radical community action

We can also think about taking collective, community action towards making this vision a reality. One really practical, positive way is to start organising regular ‘playing out’ sessions on your street. It might not seem like you’re changing the world by closing your street to cars for just 2hrs a week or month, but this simple action has deep impact and creates many ripples … (read more)

Alice Ferguson

To read Alice’s full blog, please visit Playing Out

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