A green campaigning family from Coneyhurst, West Sussex has been labelled as ‘the most eco-friendly family in the UK’ after being recognised for their inspirational work protecting the planet, at a prestigious UK green awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
Adam Cort, 9, and his mum, Carrie, 52, were both named amongst the UK’s most inspiring environmentalists at the WWF Earth Hour Hero awards, in front of an esteemed audience of MPs, climate experts, and international media.
William Penn School pupil Adam, won the Key Stage 2 poster category of WWF’s Earth Hour ‘The Future We Want’ competition. His winning entry depicted different images of environmental problems, from rainforest destruction to rising tides, offering sustainable solutions alongside each.
Meanwhile, mum Carrie was commended as a finalist in the WWF Earth Hour Hero awards, for her initiative in the Community Hero category for her inspirational work in West Sussex campaigning for the environment.
The Corts are believed to be the first ever parent and child duo to both receive individual recognition in a UK green awards ceremony. The WWF awards, run in conjunction with People’s Postcode Lottery, recognised regular people protecting the planet, with award judges saying “the Corts might just be the most eco-friendly family in Britain”.
The Cort household, which also features two dogs, chickens, three bantams, one horse, two ponies, has long been committed to living and breathing a green lifestyle since mum Carrie quit a high powered corporate job in 2012 to set up the environmental education and awareness initiative Sussex Green Living, providing eco-education through fun talks and workshops for schools and adult groups.
Carrie also hosts a recycling scheme, with over 90,000 items of waste recycled into new products to date, whilst working with ex US vice president Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader, to help the UK to fulfil its commitment under the Paris Agreement.
Carrie calls on the Cort family to help her inspiring initiatives, including running community eco-fashion shows, creating awareness-raising art competitions for schoolchildren, and upcycling sewing groups, with Adam her biggest supporter.
Inspired by this, at the age of seven Adam earned his Blue Peter Badge for inspiring other children with his greener living knowledge, and has gone onto be a respected voice on climate change in his school, culminating in his national award.
Naomi Hicks of WWF, said: “The inspiring stories we hear about in the Earth Hour Hero awards shows how it’s possible for all of us to help protect our amazing planet.
“The standard of submissions this year was our best ever, and for Carrie and Adam to achieve this recognition demonstrates outstanding levels of commitment, passion and care for future generations. The Corts are an example to all of us that we can do so much more to ensure future generations after Adam have the opportunity to experience this amazing planet.”
Carrie added: ““Adam and other children like him, fill me with hope and inspiration for the future, as they understand the need to look after the planet, which sustains us all. They are my green crusaders helping to convert their parents and other adults in their lives.
“Us adults now need to listen to what our kids are telling us, and urgently inspire and motivate everyone else to conserve natural resources, reduce the effects of climate change, and live in greater harmony with nature”.
Adam said: “I was really happy to win the WWF award, and it was so exciting to visit the Houses of Parliament with my mum. It was amazing that we both were nominated for an award, and we had a great day out meeting an Olympic hero.
“My school friends and I really care about protecting the planet from climate change, but it makes me feel sad when adults don’t seem to care about it, so it was so nice to see so many adult award winners like my mum who are also doing amazing things for our planet.
Readers inspired by Carrie’s achievements can get involved in WWF’s Earth Hour - the world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change, by signing up and switching off their lights at 8:30pm on Saturday March 25.
Millions around the world will be coming together to show support for action to protect our amazing planet, and anyone can join in by simply signing up at wwf.org.uk/2017earthhour.