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Learning green optimism from our children

March 2021

Teddy Nyahasha

I recently did a local radio interview about the work OneFamily’s been doing with the Tree Appeal since 2007.

This is a charity that plants native broad leaf trees throughout the UK, mostly in schools, to create wildlife habitats and help to combat the climate emergency. Most recently, we donated 1,000 trees to Brighton schools to celebrate the launch of our new climate friendly ISA and Lifetime ISA accounts - which only invest in companies that are determined to tackle climate change.

It’s a nice thing to do and a great way to get children and young people outdoors, where they can enjoy the natural world and learn about their local environment and the issues that affect it.

One of the points I made to the radio presenter was that, young people really understand the climate emergency, for them being green isn’t a lifestyle choice – it’s their future. They understand the impact that reducing waste at source, reusing where possible and recycling has on their world. They know about keeping energy use to a minimum and not wasting water.

But they also understand that they can make a difference to their society by holding businesses to account when it comes to doing the right thing. And they’re not afraid to make change happen – in some research we did last year we found that these future adults are ready to vote with their wallets.

Nearly two-thirds said they wouldn’t give money to a company they felt had unethical business practices and 82% said they felt companies should be doing more to combat climate change.

These young people will be returning to school next week and for some Brighton children there will be new saplings to plant and carefully tend to. I think, as adults, there’s a lot we can learn from our children and their optimism – it really is possible to make change happen by the simple choices that we make.

Everyday is a school day it seems.


Teddy is a strong supporter of diversity, inclusion and equality. A passionate believer in social mobility and financial inclusion; he is using his position as CEO of OneFamily to help the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to reach beyond their expectations. His view is that everyone in society should have the same opportunities to access financial products – regardless of their wealth.

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