The Roots of Hope group is organizing a beach cleanup at Esquimalt Lagoon on Sunday

Kids take aim against plastic in the community

A group of Greater Victoria kids are doing their part in the community by reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills, oceans.

A group of Greater Victoria kids are doing their part in the community by reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans.

The group, called Roots of Hope, includes 10 kids who meet once a week to discuss an issue that is important to them. Over the past few months, the group has been working on a campaign to reduce plastic that ends up in the community.

It’s an issue that is close to group founder Franny Ladell’s heart.

“We see so much plastic in our community and it’s so bad for the environment, animals and people. We thought we should do something about it because it’s such a big problem,” said the nine-year-old, adding there isn’t as much plastic in Victoria as there is in other places. “I just think there shouldn’t be this much plastic in the community.”

Franny started the group after meeting Dr. Jane Goodall at a lecture in Victoria in the spring, where Goodall told her and her brother Rupert about Roots and Shoots, a global youth-led community action program that builds on Goodall’s work to make the world a better place.

Shortly after, Franny and her mother Skye sent out an email to friends, asking them to join, to which they had an overwhelming response with kids ranging in age from seven to 13 years old in the group, including Zoe and Sequoia Harmer from Victoria, Luci Ewen from Saanich, Anna Wautier, Nathan and Erin Harlan from Oak Bay, and Chloe and Finn Unger from Sooke.

Thirteen-year-old Luci Ewen from Saanich decided to join the group to make a difference in the world.

“I really liked the idea of changing the world we live in for the better,” she said.

Now, the group is moving full steam ahead with the campaign. The campaign kicks off this weekend with a beach clean up at Esquimalt Lagoon, in which the kids, along with friends and family, will pick up pieces of garbage found on the beach.

The kids have also come up with an online Promise Less Plastic campaign encouraging individuals to make a personal commitment to use less plastics and have written a letter, which will be distributed to grocery stores to encourage them to stop using plastic bags and switch to recyclable plastics or reusable bags.

They have also come up with posters about the impact of plastic on the oceans, wildlife and the environment, which they have put up around neighbourhoods in cafes, coffee shops and poles.

“It’s the right thing to do to make the world a better place,” said Rupert.

The beach clean up takes place on Sunday, Nov. 27 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Esquimalt Lagoon. Anyone interested in participating can meet at the lagoon washrooms. For more information visit the Facebook page Promise Less Plastic (#promiselessplastic).