Lis­ten up, Carter has a mes­sage for the coun­try


Tousle-haired Carter Lock­wood might look cute, but when he starts wag­ging his finger, he means busi­ness.

‘‘Let me tell you about plas­tic,’’ the 6-year-old from Porirua, north of Welling­ton, de­clares earnestly from the back seat of his mum’s car.

‘‘Get rid of plas­tic and stop chop­ping down trees.

‘‘The plas­tic is killing our sea an­i­mals and with the trees, I don’t want them get­ting chopped down, be­cause they’re cut­ting off our oxy­gen.’’

In a Face­book video shared by mum Shan­non Lock­wood, she asks him what we should do about it.

‘‘We’re go­ing to put it on the news,’’ he replies.

Lock­wood said the speech seemed to come out of nowhere.

‘‘We weren’t talk­ing about it be­fore­hand, but he must re­ally have this on his mind at the mo­ment.

‘‘When he hears about these things and what the neg­a­tives could be, for hu­mans or an­i­mals, it gets to him.

‘‘He told me: ‘ Mum, I have some­thing I need to say to this coun­try.’

‘‘So I de­cided to record it to share with our fam­ily and friends ini­tially, be­cause he comes out with some hi­lar­i­ous things some­times.

‘‘I was pleas­antly sur­prised when this came out, though.’’

Last year, Carter saw the Dr Seuss movie The Lo­rax, set in a world with­out trees, since when trees had been ‘‘a big con­cern’’. He has al­ready made his mother prom­ise to use fewer snack bags and food wrap, but she said it was dif­fi­cult to find af­ford­able, re­us­able pack­ag­ing on a bud­get.

‘‘But I have com­mit­ted to him that I will find bet­ter op­tions for his lunches and my own.’’

She said a lot of trees had been chopped down around their Porirua home in the past year to make way for the Aotea Block hous­ing de­vel­op­ment.

Carter’s Pare­mata School had been study­ing plas­tic and its ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment, and did its own take on ‘‘Junk-free June’’ last month, in which stu­dents tried to have as lit­tle sin­gle-use plas­tic pack­ag­ing as pos­si­ble.

At a re­cent school trip to Porirua’s Pataka Gallery, he learnt about plas­tic waste and its im­pact on sea life, as well as how it can be re­cy­cled.

Lock­wood said it seemed to be the young peo­ple and chil­dren who were most con­cerned about the is­sue of plas­tic waste.

‘‘They haven’t been groomed by com­mer­cial­ism and so­ci­ety to be in­dif­fer­ent about the topic.

‘‘They just hear the facts and po­ten­tial long-term reper­cus­sions and they care. I love that.’’

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