Emails from constituents who are members of environmental campaign groups have been arriving in my inbox this week, urging me to do all I can in Parliament to promote the protection of our environment.
The Environment Bill, which was debated this week, places place environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government. Legislative measures will be introduced to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age: air quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency, and water resource management.
However, some of the strongest messages about keeping our planet clean, and our oceans free from plastic, are coming from the children of Brentwood and Ongar. 2nd Kelvedon Hatch Brownies and 4th Hutton Brownies have been in touch about Girl Guiding UK's "Future Girl" campaign which is tackling plastic pollution and promoting a plastic bottle deposit scheme. Keep an eye out for their work through #plasticpromise on social media. A Government consultation on a plan for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers has recently closed - the Brownies think the idea is interesting and want to be involved in making it happen.
The children of Long Ridings Primary School know a thing or two about the environment - they have their own school orchard and beehives, and were potting up the latest batch of honey when I visited them last week. They were full of questions, and some impressive answers too when I asked them what they would like to do to improve the area in which they live. Walking and cycling paths, more recycling bins, planting more trees and using less palm oil were top of their list. I'll do my best to help them make these suggestions happen.
Meanwhile, the children and parents of Willowbrook Primary School have formed a 3PR parking patrol with the South Essex Parking Partnership to make the road outside the school, Rosen Crescent, a safer and happier place for the school's children and neighbours. 3PR is a little green robot and children are rewarded with a robot token when they arrive at school on foot or by bike or scooter, rather than in the car.
Hearty congratulations to our youngsters for being so pro-active in protecting our planet. It's their future I'm thinking about when we're discussing the environment in Parliament.