For the first seven chapters click here 🙂
Chapter 8 continues:
“Explain. How is this the only waste you personally made this week?”
“I told my mum not to buy the vegetables an’ fruit in plastic bags an’ nets an’ trays ’cause we don’t need ’em, we just throw ’em away as soon as we get home. So I jus’ put it all loose in the trolley; I laid it on top of a soft bag so it dint get bruises, and then I put it in our own bags when we paid for it.”
The fact that the bags to which he referred were actually pillowcases was an irrelevant detail unnecessary to divulge.
“Ok, good, loose fruit and veg – no need for packaging. What else?”
“I told Mum to get the loose lentils and raisins that you can weigh, instead of the ones in packets, and we put it in our bags we took with us what we can re-use.”
He paused, waiting for her to acknowledge receipt of this information.
“Go on,” she urged.
“I told Mum to get me the porridge oats what comes in jus’ a paper bag instead of cereal what’s in boxes and plastic bags. An’ we got flour an’ sugar in paper bags an’ bread in paper bags instead of plastic; an’ peanut butter in a glass jar with a metal lid; an’ vinegar an’ ketchup an’ apple juice an’ sunflower oil in glass bottles with metal lids – but we ‘aven’t finished all of ’em so I on’y brought the juice bottle today – an’ two tins of beans. That’s everythin’ I ate an’ I made my Mum choose glass an’ tins because they can be recycled over an’ over forever an’ ever, back into bottles an’ food tins, but plastic is bad an’ can on’y be cycled to things like plastic bricks an’ stuff that can’t be recycled in the end.”
Mrs Tebbut was lost for words. He had read the printouts. He had done the work. Impressively. She looked at the three paper bags, one glass bottle and two baked beans tins and was amazed at how simple it could actually be.
“Well done Luke,” she said, “very well done indeed.”
At the end of the day when everyone else was going to get their coats, Mrs Tebbut called Luke to her desk.
“Good work today Luke,” she said, “is this something you’ve been concerned about for a while? I mean before we started our project?”
Luke was unused to his teacher’s friendly voice being directed at him but he saw no harm in indulging her.
“Yeah. Since I saw Spiker caught in the plastic rings an’ all the litter what hurts the animals. An’ since so many people are jus’ stupid to keep droppin’ the litter I thought the best thing to do is to make shops stop sellin’ it, then there’d be nothin’ to drop, ‘cept maybe paper bags but that won’t hurt no one and it won’t last long. So I’m teachin’ my Mum not to buy things with plastic.”
“Well, Luke, that’s wonderful, I’m very impre….”
“An’ I’m makin’ new things out of old things as well,” being impressive was new to Luke – he couldn’t stop now, “so I’m recyclin’ ’em myself and I’m reducin’ the buyin’ of new things ’cause of fixin’ things and makin’ new ones out of old ones.”
Mrs Tebbut smiled.
“Really? What are you making?”
“At the moment,” he said proudly, “I’m knittin’ a blanket for my pet lamb to keep ‘im warm on chilly nights.”
“Wonderful! And are you using recycled yarn from an unravelled jumper?”
“Kind of, but no, not yarn. Strips of material.”
She looked confused so he tried to explain.
“I got the idea from me Nan’s magazine ’bout makin’ rag rugs by cuttin’ old material into strips an’ knottin’ ’em together to make long long strings of it an’ then knittin’ with it. It’ll make a thick, soft blanket for Squirt to sleep on.”
“Fantastic! What material are you using? What are you cutting up?”
Luke was glad she asked because he’d put a lot of thought into that decision. He answered with the quiet confidence of a wise person enlightening a complete beginner.
“I decided the warmest stuff would be what blankets are made of and I found two big blankets in the airing cupboard what nobody was usin’ so I used ’em. I’m nearly finished now.”
Mrs Tebbut smiled again.
“You’ve got a good heart Luke,” she said, “off you go. Have a nice weekend, I’ll see you Monday.”
Luke, almost overwhelmed by the unfamiliar sensation of being approved of, went to get his coat.
Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (£4) – the first eight chapters; and Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er: my privut notebook (£2.75) – every member of Luke’s secret sersiety of animal stick up for-ers should have one; are available from Amazon 🙂
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