Tim Allman is the author of Max Takes A Stand, illustrated by Nick Shepherd. The first book in a new series, Max is on a quest to make the world a better place. From hiding his parents’ car keys to preparing vegan dinners, Max is determined to help save the planet through positive direct action – often with disastrous consequences. With it’s strong environmental theme, we thought we’d ask the author what can be done… from the living room?!
At the moment most of us are spending at lot more time at home than we usually do, and that can be tough. Even so, there are lots of ways you can help to be like Max in my books, and try to save the world…..
This is a great opportunity to really get to know your stuff and become an environmental egghead – knowledge is power! If you’ve always wanted to understand why the rainforests are being cut down, or to get your head around the science of climate change, now’s your chance. There are loads of websites and books that you can explore, and you can count it as home schooling too if you like! If you’d rather not read about worrying environmental problems, do some research into solutions instead – like solar panels, or ways to make cities more bike friendly.
Nature and gardening
This is also a good time to get more connected with nature, even if you’re stuck indoors most of the time. I reckon that the best inspiration for action for the planet is a love of the natural world. See which birds you can identify from your window, and try to learn their birdsong, using online guides. If you have a garden, search the soil for mini-beasts. Try growing something at home, either some wildflowers for the bees, or salad leaves or radishes for your dinner – there’s nothing quite like eating something you’ve grown! If you don’t have any outdoor growing space, fill an old plastic food container with compost or soil and pop it on your windowsill.
Green up the house
There may be some changes you can help make around your house which will help the environment. You could set up a really good recycling system, for example, or try new vegan recipes, or work out ways to use less electricity at home, or to save water. All of these are important steps towards reducing your impact, but we need much bigger changes to save the planet. So, you could also try….
It’s not possible to go out and join protests or campaign events at the moment, but there are lots of ways to make your voice heard. You can write letters to politicians or newspapers about issues you’re concerned about, or get blogging and posting on social media. You could also design and draw a colourful poster to put in your window. There are also online campaigns that you could join – for instance, look for #DigitalStrike and #ClimateStrikeOnline and get involved!
It’s always good to have things to look forward to, especially in strange times like these. Think about what you’d like to do when things have gone less strange, and make a plan. Would you like to start a campaign about something you feel strongly about? Plant trees or start a wildlife garden? Lobby to phase out disposable plastics at your school? If you do some planning now, you’ll be able to make a quicker start later. Maybe contact your friends and see if they will get involved too.
One of the best tools we have to help change the world is the imagination. This lets us explore possibilities of other ways of doing things, and reminds us that things don’t have to stay the same. Imagination is a real superpower, and the amazing thing is that everyone has it. So, dream big, and let your imagination run wild – what sort of planet do you want to live on when you grow up? If you like, you could draw pictures of your vision of a better world, or describe it in a piece of creative writing. Visions like these have always helped to drive change. Your imagination can help change the world!