A survey of 2,000 mums and dads with kids aged 5-16 found 74 per cent of their little ones are passionate about fighting climate change.

 

And while they want to teach their children about the climate crisis, 55 per cent of parents admit they are often the ones learning from their kids.

 

A fifth (19 per cent) feel their children know more about how to reduce the family’s impact on the environment than they do.

 

More than half (51 per cent) have even been TOLD OFF by their children for not doing something environmentally friendly or sustainable.

 

Leaving the lights on was the main reason, followed by accidentally putting recycling in with the main waste, not switching the TV off, leaving the tap running and wasting food.

 

Overall, 64 per cent would like their children to follow in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg and be passionate about protecting the environment.

 

The research was carried out by BT to launch The BT Big Sofa Summit [https://www.bt.com/skillsfortomorrow/big-sofa-summit] to get the UK talking about the environment and demonstrate how small lifestyle changes and smart tech can be used to help aid the fight against climate change at home.

 

To launch the campaign, BT has teamed up with presenter, actress and singer Kimberley Walsh as well as Diversity duo Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely, who have held their own summits to talk about what they can do to be greener at home, from saving energy through shorter showers to installing LED smart lighting.

 

Kimberley Walsh said: “Every time you turn on the news, there’s always a story about the doom and gloom of climate change so it can be very easy to get overwhelmed by it all.

 

“The findings show that we are in good hands with the next generation when it comes to helping fight climate change at home – they’re even telling their parents off for not doing enough.”

 

“The BT Big Sofa Summit is a simple, positive way of figuring out the small steps you can take as a family to make your home greener.

 

“My kids absolutely loved it: they want us to install a smart thermostat so that they can turn the heating down when I have it too high.”

 

The study also found that while politicians, world leaders and key influencers might be the most vocal about climate change, they are not necessarily the people kids are looking towards for inspiration, according to parents.

 

Teachers act as the main driving force behind children caring about the environment and promoting sustainability.

 

And the world’s two best known environmentalists, David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, are far more likely to inspire children than politicians.

 

It also emerged that 77 per cent of parents with smart meters said their kids enjoy looking at them to see how much energy is being used.

 

And 36 per cent have smart technology in the home that their children use to minimise the impact on the environment.

 

Overall, 65 per cent of parents think they’re doing enough at home to fight climate change.

 

But their children are also acting as influencers around the house, encouraging their parents to buy products that are clever and eco-friendly.

 

A quarter (28 per cent) of parents have had an electric car suggested to them by their kids, while 29 per cent have been told about energy efficient smart gadgets such as smart thermostats and smart radiator valves.

 

It’s not just gadgets though – with 31 per cent of parents polled via OnePoll encouraged to buy reusable drinks cups and 29 per cent told to buy multi-use straws.

 

Andy Wales, chief digital impact and sustainability officer at BT Group, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges right now, so it’s encouraging to see how important the environment is to young people across the UK.

 

“Parents are doing their bit to educate their children, but they’re also learning from their kids at the same time, which is great.

 

“We want to use our reach and expertise through the Big Sofa Summit to spark a conversation about climate change and inspire everyone to make small sustainable steps, embracing technologies available to help them become greener at home.”

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