Half-term, fully green

Plastic problemsPlastic problems

With plastic use high on the environmental agenda, Redbridge Libraries are encouraging children and their parents to go green this half-term. Habiba Ahmed, recycling officer for Amey, reports.

Our rubbish will always go somewhere on Earth. This is the message we will be promoting during Go Green Week, which runs from 12 to 16 February. Children and parents are invited to participate in a series of linked activities, which will help you look after and love your local area. Come along to the library for a workshop for families with a green theme and have fun learning something new about everything to do with recycling.

More than 300 million tonnes of plastic are manufactured annually, half of which is for single-use items that are used for approximately 12 minutes. The plastic we throw away is killing 100,000 marine animals and one million sea birds each year. It is estimated that over 90% of seabirds worldwide have plastic pieces in their stomachs. So, let's all try to change our behaviour and use less plastic!

Storytelling and family fun activities during Go Green Week will demonstrate how to reuse your rubbish and have fun with fabrics. You will have the chance to make your own star or flower, and then you will be shown how to make a bird feeder, ready for spring. Bring along unwanted pieces of fabric, an empty milk or juice carton and small plastic bottles and recycle them into something new.

As part of Go Green Week, touring production company Total Insight Theatre will bring Mr and Mrs Polluto to Wanstead Library, telling the story of the Polluto family, who throw all their rubbish into the garden and never recycle. One day, their rubbish piles up so high they can no longer leave the house. As their rubbish piles up higher and higher, the play explores if they will ever find a way out, and uses puppetry and live music to explore the environment and our relationship to it. The 45-minute performance – for children aged four and over – will be followed by a 30-minute play session, in which children and their families have the opportunity to design and create their own puppets to take home.

I hope the stories and activities on offer this half-term will motivate children and parents to learn more about how to care for our planet. We all have to take pride in our community and borough and do our bit to make it better. So, get involved by taking part in a litter-picking event during the national Keep Britain Tidy's Great British Spring Clean (2 to 4 March). This is a great way to meet neighbours and send out a strong message that the community will not tolerate littering.

Recycling activities will take place at Wanstead Library on 12 February from 3pm to 5pm (free; booking required). For more information, call 020 8708 7400

Mr and Mrs Polluto will be performed at Wanstead Library on 13 February at 11am (tickets: £2; booking required). For more information, visit wavidi.co/polluto

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