A group of children have been working on making Eco-Festival booklets to help everyone celebrate festivals in a more sustainable way. 

Spearheaded by Daruk Pal from Lancaster Royal Grammar School (LRGS), the LEAP Voices of Youth have been gathering together online from the past year creating booklets which are aimed at busy parents, family and friends, and a range of ages of children, with art, craft and recipes set out in the shortest and simplest way possible. 

Daruk, who is part of the Green Team at his school, said: “I came up with the idea of making booklets that encourage families to make things at home for festivals rather than buy them, as a way that will make a large impact towards a sustainable future for our and future generations. 

"The booklets have made a difference to sustainable practice in many more families than we first thought. I want to keep up the momentum by next working with my friends, on NRG@Home, an Energy Saving Assessment that I’ve been designing, which children and their families can use easily at home.” 

Daniel Rajczyk, who led on the Eco-Christmas booklet and who studies at Penwortham Priory Academy, Preston said:, “Everyone thinks, ‘How can my doing anything make a difference to a huge problem like global warming?’, and even I used to think something like that. But when Daruk convinced me to join him and lead on the Eco-Christmas booklet, I was astonished to see how just a handful of us were able to come up with a really useful booklet. 

"Even more surprising and exciting was the wonderful encouragement we got from Lancashire County Council, who sent our booklet out to all primary schools, engaging even more families in trying out sustainable ways.”

Asian Image:

Vishwa Venkataraghavan, another LRGS student, cited how the Eco-Diwali booklet had been taken up by many more families after being launched at the Hindu Forum of Britain’s Virtual House of Commons Diwali.

A sixth former at the Lancaster Girls Grammar School (LGGS), Rachael Dabble pointed out that the emphasis in the booklets is 'not on perfection but on creating things'.

Anuhya Asin (Anshi), a student at Scotforth St Paul's C of E Primary school, Lancaster, said: “These make wonderful traditional and contemporary markers of celebrating the festivals, focussing on the cultural aspects of the celebration! The best way through the climate crisis is for people to come together and work at the grassroots level to change the way they live and learn to make sustainable choices constantly.” 

Seven year old Pavan Patel, who is part of the Eco-Council at his school, St Stephen’s Primary School in Preston said:  “Whether it be cereal packet Christmas Trees, clay and flour Diyas or ground almond Frogs, the booklets show you how to use biodegradeable materials and reuse household recyclable items.” 

Deeya said: “There is no place like home to make and grow, and if you must buy, atleast buy things made locally and from your local shops!” 

Maryam, who leads on environmental issues for the Student leadership team at Penwortham Girls' High School, feels that the booklets encourage children and their families to get involved, allows people to express their creativity in relation to special celebrations, and encourages us to spend quality time with families, all whilst aiming for a more environmentally friendly present and future. 

The Eco-Festival booklets by Daruk and his friends, LEAP Voices of Youth, are supported and disseminated by Lancaster Environment Action & Protection  (LEAP Lancashire), with Dr Richa Soni as Director for Voices of Youth. LEAP Director for Schools, Mrs Kailash Parekh MBE, commented on the excellent support received from both Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council, with Leader of the Lancaster City Council, Cllr Caroline Jackson actively encouraging the children to be involved in sustainability activities.

Naisha Soni at Moorside Primary School and the youngest contributor to LEAP VOY, said:  ”Love Nature and Nature Loves you back.”