Harrogate schoolgirl Emma petitions Father Christmas to use less plastic in his toys
A Harrogate schoolgirl is dreaming of a plastic-free Christmas this year - and even asked Father Christmas to follow her lead.
Seven-year-old Emma Klauser, a pupil at independent Belmont Grosvenor School, started up an online petition to persuade Santa to ditch plastic toys and non-recyclable packaging this festive season.
And she’s now calling on toy manufacturers to think more about the environment when producing the games, gadgets and playthings for children all over the world.
Emma said: “We have learned a lot about the environment at my school - I’m a member of Belmont Grosvenor’s Eco Club - and I’ve seen lots of depressing pictures of what all these plastics are doing to our oceans.
“I don’t think that grown-ups are doing enough to help. Before Christmas, I was thinking about my gift list and decided I would like to ask Father Christmas to stop gifting toys made from plastic.”
The school has a thriving Eco Club and its young pupils are active campaigners for environmental change.
The school was awarded the coveted Eco School’s Green Flag award this year, recognising its efforts to create a more environmentally-friendly school community.
Reducing Belmont Grosvenor’s carbon footprint is the pupils’ goal - they recycle and reuse, take part in light switch-offs, litter picks, beach clean-ups and grow their own fruit and vegetables in the school’s 20-acres of grounds.
Nicola Shillam, Eco co-ordinator at Belmont Grosvenor School, said: “All the pupils are aware of the environmental issues affecting our world and are committed to action to help reduce our impact on the planet. Emma’s letter to Father Christmas and her petition for others to get inolved is a great way of raising awareness.”
Emma’s mum Kristin said she was proud of her daughter’s stance - and is hoping others will support her view and think of alternatives to plastic.
She added: “The change starts with her. Emma understands that change is scary and that many of her friends will be hesitant.
“She is holding herself accountable, taking responsibility for the problem and is now offering solutions.”