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Character drawings of young people

Help us get to net zero

Market Harborough young people participated in a project which will help inform future plans for Net Zero Leicestershire. Over eight weeks they created a Net Zero Zine out of recycled materials that highlight environmental issues they are passionate about. They hope that the zine and display start a climate change conversation with other young people in the Harborough District. The culmination of the project was a display in the Harborough Museum which took place on Saturday 9th December 2023.


Below you can see the three stages of the journey from brainstorming and preparation to the final finished zine.

Artwork on display from the environmental project
Stage 1 - preparation

Each week we drew random doodles on recycled paper and looked at different ways our shapes could be made into characters. We then focused on character design and expressions breaking our process down into:

  • What makes a good character?
  • What qualities does our character have?
  • How is our character feeling?
  • How can we show their emotions?
Artwork on display from the environmental project
Stage 2 - work in progress

With characters designed it was time to create net zero stories. Using different prompts and recycled materials we experimented to find the best way to tell our individual stories. Some of us preferred to write a short story first, others jumped right into illustrating and the story appeared in picture form.

Artwork on display from the environmental project
Stage 3 - the final product

Final artwork, using different recycled materials and techniques to illustrate our stories. We have had a lot of fun creating our zine.

Quotes from the young people who participated in the project…

“My hopes are that we’ll all try and work together to try and reach net zero even if it’s something as small as everybody just planting one flower every now and again because even the small things that we do can make a huge difference.”

“I love the fact that I am being listened to and that people will take and acknowledge and then change the world and change politics.”

“I think my main hope for this is that it’s going to make people a bit more climate conscious and more aware of what’s happening and what they can do to help.”

“I chose to do a story about littering… places like lakes and forests because I often see a lot of litter on walks and I thought it’s ruining the areas, for animals and people so I thought it would be nice to do a story about it to spread awareness about the issue. I feel excited that we who are working on a project about the environment will be listened to by the council who are focused on becoming net zero.”

“I hope that it gives people more of a view on how much climate change is impacting people and I hope that some of the other stories bring more attention about the environment to the council.”

“We have been working on a story that will help people to understand environmental issues that are happening to our world. We have created our own characters which has involved drawing and experimenting with different art materials. This experience has given me a better insight on environmental issues through using my art skills.”

Savannah Williams – Brown, one of the participants

Win FREE tickets

Have your say…
Take part in a short survey and you can enter a prize draw to win FREE tickets to the Natural History Museum in London! Lunch and travel provided (1 adult + 1 child).

Help shape future plans for Net Zero Leicestershire by telling us how you think individuals and communities could step up to the climate emergency challenge.

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