Children reveal what changes they would make if they ran the country

A staggering 92% of children believe it is everyone's responsibility to look after the planet – with 61% having told their parents off for not correctly recycling something they should have.

Nearly three-quarters of parents say their children are “mini educators” at home – teaching them about why littering is bad, why to avoid using plastics, and how to change their food consumption habits.

And nine in ten children polled, in a survey of 1,000 youngsters aged six to 12, and their parents, are keen to learn more about how they can do their bit for the planet.

In fact, more than a third (36%) wished they had a say on government decisions around climate change – and have revealed the top changes they would make if they ran the country.

These included planting more trees, protecting all animals, learning more about climate change in schools, and making all cars electric to reduce pollution.

One in three children would make it an illegal offence to incorrectly throw recyclables in a general waste bin – and many want to see more meat-free meals readily available.

The findings were part of a comprehensive report produced by Birds Eye’s Green Cuisine, which has been backed by child clinical psychologist, Dr Elizabeth Kilbey.

Dr Kilbey said: “I think it’s essential this generation’s voice is heard.

“The research has highlighted how children have important views they’d like to be taken seriously by adults, on everything from food to the planet.

“However, there’s some really interesting insight on their opinions of doing things like cutting meat from their diets a little more to help protect the planet.

“Recent stats from YouGov show that there is an increasing trend towards consumers adopting more flexitarian diets, with many believing this is healthier for them – with the added bonus that we know eating more plant-based foods could help to cut carbon emissions by up to 60%.

“This research is shining a light on how smart and clued-up kids are, in a bid to bring them into the conversations that will impact their futures.”

Further insight from the report also revealed over a third of children (34%) have asked an adult if they could eat a meal that doesn’t include any meat – with 42% reckoning they probably wouldn’t notice if meat wasn’t in their meals.

And almost half (45%) wished adults listened to them more about what food they want to consume.

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It also emerged that primary schools are influential on such issues, as children revealed they listen to teachers most when it comes learning about protecting the planet – ahead of TV shows, family, and even activists like Greta Thunberg.

In a sobering admission from kids, eight in ten have visibly witnessed pollution, like dirty smoke from cars or factories.

But two-thirds (65%) aren’t clued up on the meaning of climate change, according to the OnePoll data.

Victoria Westwood, from Green Cuisine, which is launching its “love me or I’m free” on-pack promotion in December, added: “It’s easy to write off what children say sometimes – however, it’s clear many are the mini educators of the household, and parents are actually learning from them.

“Children are hungry to learn and better the planet – whether that be through small and simple changes like eating less meat-based meals a week, or more drastic changes linked to saving energy and reducing pollution.

“Our recent study has shown plant-based frozen meals often have a smaller carbon footprint on average compared to red meat.

“It’s these small swaps from meat to plant-based meals that we believe can have a really positive impact on our planet.”


  1. Eat whatever I want for breakfast/lunch/dinner
  2. Teach children how to cook from an earlier age in the kitchen
  3. Get to choose the meals I eat everyday
  4. Eat my food in any order I want e.g. dessert first
  5. Don't have to eat dinner at the table if I don't want to
  6. More education on which foods are good and bad for you
  7. Kids must be listened to about what they want for dinner
  8. Parents aren't allowed to tell kids what to eat
  9. Meat-free meals to be more freely available in schools
  10. Everyone eats a balance of meat and meat-free dinners


  1. Protect all animals
  2. Plant more trees
  3. Lessons for everyone on how to protect the planet
  4. Everyone would get free bicycles to reduce pollution
  5. Reuse household items
  6. Kids get a say in governmental decisions around climate change
  7. Lights get turned off everywhere at bedtime to save energy
  8. Make all cars electric to reduce pollution
  9. Throwing things in the bin that could be recycled would be illegal
  10. Build less homes and roads


  1. No homework
  2. No school uniforms
  3. Learn more about nature and wildlife
  4. Have lessons outside
  5. Parents only work one day a week, and play with kids the rest of the time
  6. Cooking lessons once a week
  7. Video games to be brought in as lessons at school
  8. Learn more about climate change
  9. Have music on in the classroom
  10. Kids teach the teachers

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