Starting young

Twelve year old Drew is taking climate change into his own hands

Twelve-year-old Drew Mellor from Bishopstoke has taken climate change into his own hands by tackling environmental issues in his area and is encouraging others to do the same.

A few years ago Drew asked for a litter picker for Christmas, after seeing how much litter had been dropped in his area, since then he’s been focused on cleaning up his local streets, river and woods. In September he went on a climate march in Southampton, he said: “It was a really good experience, there were so many people out marching and it felt good to be a part of it.”

Drew’s passion for tackling climate change has rubbed off onto his family as well; they now use the refill market stall in Eastleigh for washing liquid, soap and shampoo, as well as bamboo toothbrushes and using Terracycle to recycle things that don’t go in the green bin.

He is part of the Conservation Club at his school and enjoys encouraging other people to think about the environment and what they can do to help by talking to groups at school, scouts, the local W.I groups, parish councils, and anywhere else in the community that he can spread the word.

The local parish council heard about what Drew was doing and bought litter pickers, gloves and bag holders which could be loaned to people who want to help with litter picking in the Bishopstoke area. He is now part of a monthly community litter picker group and he said the equipment is really useful when lots of people volunteer.

Drew would like to see more action taken to encourage individuals and big companies to think about single use plastic and their recycling. He suggested that the Council could give companies rewards for being more eco-friendly and provide litter picking stations near rivers, woods and parks.

He likes to talk to people about what they can do to help the environment, his mum runs a Facebook and Instagram page called ‘Bin It For Bishy’ to spread the word when they are doing a big litter pick which is usually on the last Sunday of each month.

Drew is pleased to see more people are picking up litter in his area, it makes him feel like he is not the only person concerned about the environment. He said: “It’s sad to still see litter being dropped though. I don't think people realise how dangerous it is to drop litter. I don't know why they do it. If everyone picked up one piece of litter everyday, we’d see a big difference.”

Drew wants to become a Marine Biologist when he finishes his education, but is worried that there won’t be any healthy oceans left for him to work in. His message to people who are not sure how they can help is that people don’t have to do a lot, just what they can. He recommends that people start off with small changes such as; not buying plastic water bottles, using refillable coffee cups, going meat free one day a week, picking up a piece of litter and putting it in the bin and using a refill shop for some or all of their cleaning products. 

If you’re struggling to recycle certain items take a look at the Recycle Now website.