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.’’