Disney does green

Playhouse Disney and the Woodland Trust have teamed up to teach children about the importance of looking after the environment.

This week the two organizations put on a family fun day with a green theme on London’s Clapham Common.

A swap shop for clothing, tree planting and crafts using waste materials were just some of the activities on offer at the event, which was aimed at pre-schoolers.

Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, now Chief Scout, and TV presenter Gaby Roslin led the event, which followed the publication of Playhouse Disney’s Playing for the Planet guide earlier this year.

The celebrities told edie that they felt it was important to educate children about the environment at an early age and that they have no trouble absorbing the key messages, even at a very early age.

“My six year old knows about recycling and reusing,” said Gaby.

“They learn it at school. She’s the one that tells us to switch off the lights and not to leave things on

“I think they’re much more flexible when they’re kids,” said Peter.

“Adults can be slightly cynical and there’s always a slight scepticism that [this concern for the environment] is actually just a fad. Anyone who’s interested and has looked into it knows it’s not. To the children it seems like a natural idea.

“Different cultures have different takes on this – Scandinavian countries have much higher recycling rates than us. Here there’s a long way to go. It’s about education in some ways and also about lifestyle.

Gaby said lots of parents would learn through the fun day, as their children pass on information in a way which is not over-complicated.

“You hear about it on the news but hearing it in simple terms means it can sink in,” she said.

Peter stressed that the day was not simply a lesson in environmentalism for pre-schoolers – it was also about the children enjoying themselves.

“They’ll take away the fun part of it as much as the learning,” he said.

“People think they can’t absorb it, parents think it’s all a bit complicated.

“Really today is to show it can be fun and simple.”

Sam Bond

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