Concerned Chris Packham issued a rousing rallying cry to the British public after shocking new research revealed seven in ten of us admit we’re not doing enough to save the planet.
Lockdown has transformed the way we live our lives and new figures today uncover the staggering impact of the pandemic on Brits’ carbon footprint.
Over seven in ten of us (73 per cent) admit to using more electricity during lockdown, while over a third (34 per cent) say they have had the heating on more than ever before.
But almost half (47 per cent) still reckon the world will be a greener place for future generations, with many admitting they will change their habits for the better as restrictions finally ease.
Research from The National Lottery revealed the startling findings and TV naturalist Packham, a fervent environmental campaigner, hopes it serves as a crucial wake-up call.
The Springwatch presenter, 59, said: “If we do want to make the future a greener – and greater – place for future generations, we do really need to start changing our behaviour today.
“It’s good that the public is being so honest about not doing enough to be environmentally friendly – but it does surprise me the figure is so high.
“Especially when it’s so easy to be green – it starts in our own homes and with our own behaviour.
“The National Lottery has given a staggering amount of funding to help communities at a local and regional level to tackle climate change.
“And it’s thanks to National Lottery players – who raise £30 million a week for good causes – that this work can happen.”
The National Lottery has contributed more than £2.2bn towards green projects and initiatives across heritage, art, community and sport since 2010.
The support has given a shot in the arm to vital projects all around the country – from community groups preserving natural habitats to art installations educating young people on climate change.
National Lottery research also revealed the volume of Brits who want to change their ways for the better, with walking topping the list of desired new habits in a post-pandemic world.
Exactly four in ten of us plan to start racking up our step count, while using public transport – rather than a car – and holidaying locally sit joint-second at 27 per cent.
Comedian, Rosie Ramsey, has also joined forces with The National Lottery to raise crucial awareness around the staggering findings.
The presenter and actor has featured in three innovative, DIY workshops with some of the most environmentally-savvy, Lottery-funded projects around the UK.
Being released each day between 19th-23rd April via lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/stories/planetary-promise and via National Lottery Good Causes social channels, each video focuses on a different topic around sustainability and how to help the environment, with Ramsey’s three episodes accompanied by two educational deep-dives with other UK projects.
Cornwall-based Whole Again Communities, North Lanarkshire’s Cumbernauld Living Landscape and Monmouthshire-based The Big Skill were the three projects singled out to film with Ramsey.
And Northern Ireland’s Air of the Anthropocene and Pentyrch Rugby Football Club – based just outside Cardiff – were the two projects hand-picked to produce in-depth feature videos.
Fiona McGrevey is the project manager of wildlife-loving Cumbernauld Living Landscapes and hopes her video – which shows Ramsey how to make a simple sustainable birdfeeder – can blaze a trail for change.
The 36-year-old said: “It was really good experience to be involved in the video.
“Rosie was really friendly and really enthusiastic. It was fantastic to be chosen by The National Lottery and it made us really proud.
“As long as you can get outdoors, there’s always something everybody can do to engage with nature.”
And Trevor Stringer, 74, founder of upcycling and gardening project The Big Skill, added: “Helping the environment, and being aware of how we can be environmentally-friendly, really is vital.
“We’re just so grateful for the opportunity to take part in the video, and I feel like we’ve really established a need from the community.
“I hope people who watch the video are made to concentrate on the environmental, recycle and reuse theme.”
Robin Price, 39, is a digital artist at the Air of the Anthropocene project, which has used an LED light painter and long exposure photograph to reveal levels of pollution.
And the North Belfast resident, who runs the project alongside Birmingham-based Environmental Scientist Prof. Francis Pope, hailed National Lottery players for keeping his career alive.
Robin, who has lived in Belfast since 2006, said: “I’m hugely grateful to National Lottery players.
“It’s what has enabled my career as an artist and allowed me to run it sustainably – so I’m enormously grateful to The National Lottery for that.”
The National Lottery is encouraging the public to make a vital contribution to the future of our planet by making a #PlanetaryPromise on social media between Monday 19th April – 23rd April. The #PlanetaryPromise is a chance for you to do your bit for the environment by making a conscious commitment to either start or stop something that could be helping or harming our planet. To watch the videos and find out more, visit https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/stories/planetary-promise