How Britian's Youth Stay Green

How Britian's Youth Stay Green

Jason Gross
Published: 01/14/2010

Foolishly avoiding a chance to escape to a warmer climate this holiday season, I went to London to visit some friends. I'm pleased to report though that I caught some greening going on there too.

A tradition since 1987, the London New Year's Day Parade winds its way through West London, going through the Piccadilly area to Westminster, near Big Ben and the House of Parliament.  Braving the crowds, cold weather and early hour for a New Year's Day, I decided to see this spectacle and wasn't disappointed.  There were clowns, firemen, grocers giving out fruit, a Michael Jackson tribute, sword exhibitions, a mini-car brigade, dancers and Ghostbusters walking the route.

What really caught my eye were a group of grade-school kids from the Brent Youth Parliament (a group where "young people in Brent can express their views and have a say about decisions that affect them").  They were wearing enormous bird costumes, especially of local birds seen in the parks (ducks and swans).  I snapped some pics and jotted down a note to contact the group to find out more.  Their webmaster Kathy Ferris responded, saying that the group was following an environmental theme for that year and they even won a prize for their creative costumes.  I sent them some of my pictures to use for an article about the parade (which can be seen here), which included this information about their green work: 

"We used the theme of recycled fashion and the environment and the young people designed creative costumes out of everyday items. We emphasised Brent was one of the greenest boroughs in London with colourful costumes in the shape of birds, trees and flowers made by Mahogany Arts to go with our recycled creations."

Bravo Brent Youth!  It makes me want to build a giant bird costume for myself.

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