What does it mean to Haverhill’s young people?

Prompted by a wave of local activity intended to make Haverhill a more environmentally friendly and ‘sustainable’ place to live, HAVE YOU opened up the conversation to a group of young representatives..

As part of our new podcast project we spoke with;

Kirsten Marshall of The Eco News – a publication dedicated to letting people know about the sustainable changes they can make in their lives

Saffron Owen – studying a Sustainability MSc at ARU and on placement with Haverhill Town Council, working on Sustainable Haverhill

Millie Ball – Deputy MYP for West Suffolk and advocate for action on the environment

Poppy Brown – Deputy MYP for Ipswich & Suffolk South, also passionate about environmental issues & involved in putting forward ideas for the region’s 30 year transport strategy!

Our conversation focussed on action for the environment and sustainable living – the little things we can ALL do to make a difference…

As Kirsten said, “it’s not about making a whole massive change in your life, it’s just about the little steps that you take that will have a huge impact in the future.”

Poppy also believes the actions we take now can have an impact – “the little things all build up. If everyone’s taking action together we can make a change, we can make a difference!”
Some of the little but important things we talked about included; making a change to your diet, recycling, thinking more about what you buy and using less single use plastic.
Millie, as part of her election pitch for youth parliament, campaigned on reducing single use plastic in schools. MYPs are currently working on encouraging all schools in the area to take up this pledge.
We touched on the subject of transport and how making public transport easier for everyone to use could help massively with CO2 emissions. Poppy and Millie were both keen to make the point that improving public transport locally would discourage people from using their cars all the time.
Millie also talked about being vegetarian. She said that she thinks alot of people are put off eating sustainably because they “just like meat too much.”
Kirsten explained how she tackles this – “I personally do love meat and fish. I have a rule that during the week I eat as much plant based as I can. The weekend is my treat. You don’t have to feel like you have to eat vegetarian all the time.”
Poppy told us that she also thinks reducing meat consumption can help – “when I talk to people they think I’m going to try and force them to become vegetarian. I’m just saying cut meat out of two or three of your meals a week. It’s not that hard!”
Poppy: Get outside and connect with nature!
Kirsten: Don’t ever feel like the world is against you – we’re here to work with it.
Millie: Try getting a bird feeder or making an animal shelter!
Saffron: Do what you can & don’t feel bad if there’s anything you can’t quite do. If you’re living at home it can sometimes be difficult to make changes.
You can find out more about Sustainable Haverhill here

And listen to our conversation about Sustainable Haverhill here.

Watch videos from the launch event, including an inspiring talk by Chris Hines of pressure group Surfers Against Sewage!

TELL US what you’ve been doing at your school or in your local area:

Use the hashtag #sustainablehaverhill

Or send us details via haveyou@haverhill-tc.gov.uk

Have a listen to our full podcast to find out more!

Picture by Year 10 Castle Manor student

Check out the full CM Year 10 Digital Landscapes & Trees Gallery on our TALENT PAGE

Our survey said…
To help set the direction for Sustainable Haverhill the Town Council conducted a town-wide survey which included some feedback from under 16s. Here’s a brief summary of what they found:
  • Over 80% of under 16s felt the topic of climate change was quite, very or extremely important to them
  • Reducing energy consumption, switching to renewables and reducing our country’s impact on the rest of the world were considered the most important topics
  • The activities with the most interest were: tree planting, saving energy, walking/ cycling groups, gardening/ growing food and litter picking

Suffolk Youth Parliament are actively campaigning on the environment. It came out as the top issue for young people in Suffolk in the 2019 Make Your Mark ballot.

This year Stop Plastic Pollution was chosen as a focus for the national Youth Parliament campaign. Here are 10 tips to help you reduce your plastic footprint.

“Being younger we’re going to be living on this planet longer.. we’re going to be dealing with the consequences in the future. In 20-30 years’ time the young people of today are going to be in the Houses of Parliament, they’re going to be running businesses and making important decisions. I think getting involved now is a really great thing!” – Saffron Owen

Listen to our sustainable fashion edit!

We spoke with Kirsten, Saffron, Millie & Poppy to get their thoughts on sustainable fashion.

Here are their top tips for a conscious wardrobe:

  • Try clothes swops with your friends
  • Sell clothes you don’t wear anymore (Vinted / Depop etc)
  • Shop second hand
  • Save up for quality items if you can
  • Think about what you buy before you buy
  • Use the ’30 wear rule’ to help you decide whether to buy – will you wear it 30 times or more?
  • Don’t beat yourself up too much just try & be more conscious with your purchases
  • If in doubt – buy less!

Did you know the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. And while the environmental impact of flying is now well known, fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined. If you’d like to find out more, check out the BBCs Smart Guide to Climate Change


One of the topics we covered in our conversation was how helping to keep your local area tidy can make a difference..

Saffron talked about the Million Mile Clean – a massive volunteer programme to clean beaches around the UK. You can sign up to join the challenge via the link.

As Poppy said ‘litter picking is something everyone can do, no matter where they live. To stop litter we need to think more about what we’re buying.”

The MYP led campaign across Suffolk – Suffolk Sweep – is encouraging everyone to go out and do a little litter pick . You can get involved and use the #suffolksweep to document your efforts.

For action locally you can join Keep Haverhill Tidy

Or Keep Haverhill Recyclinga group promoting recycling in Haverhill, particularly plastics that may not be recycled elsewhere.


Images by Year 7 Castle Manor pupils!

Check out CM Year 7s ‘Our Environment in Digital Pictures’ Gallery on our TALENT PAGE