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Blog | NEScout chosen as COP26 #OneStepGreener Ambassador
01/11/2021 By Aaron Wappler


Scout from the North East of Scotland picked as One Step Greener Ambassador for COP26

  • The final six ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors have been chosen by the British public ahead of COP26 Summit in November and are leading the One Step Greener chain, a social media movement to encourage and inspire others to go #OneStepGreener for the environment. Hundreds of entries from across the UK were submitted and the final six announced earlier last week include Cam Whitnall (CBBC presenter), Simone Giampaolo (award-winning animator) and Lewis Howe (Scottish Scout)
  • Lewis Howe, 12, a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group from the North East of Scotland was chosen to take part after using the skills learned in Scouts to raise awareness of food wastage in schools. He suggested schools across Scotland repackage unused food and give to those in need.  Lewis has asked Aberdeenshire Council to consider piloting the scheme at his own school, Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk.
  • Lewis attended 10 Downing Street on Thursday night to meet the rest of the 26 #OneStepGreener Ambassadors at an event hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston, ahead of the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow.


Last week the British public chose the final six ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors from across the UK, people who are going above and beyond to tackle climate change. They will join the existing 20 Ambassadors, making 26 for COP26.

One of the people selected was Lewis Howe 12, a young person from North East of Scotland. Lewis is a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group and during his time with the group, he was inspired to take positive action on the environmental issues that matter most to him. Lewis struggled with the confinement of lockdown, so he threw himself into his online programme with Scouts, which he says helped him through the pandemic by giving him something to focus on.

Lewis emailed all schools in Scotland suggesting an action plan to not only reduce food waste but use surplus food to create meals for those in need, he is now working with his leaders, local MSP's and his school to push his idea forward and challenge all Scottish schools to put their food waste to better use as available meals for others.

Regarding the Ambassadors, COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “From schools to businesses and employees, to thousands of individuals across the country, we all have a part to play in going one step greener. That is why I am extremely proud to see the final six One Step Greener Ambassadors announced today. I look forward to seeing the stories of these inspirational individuals from all over the UK showcased at COP26.”

As well as attending 10 Downing Street ahead of the summit last Thursday with the other #OneStepGreener Ambassadors, Lewis will travel to Glasgow to share his idea with delegates. Lewis believes young people should have their voices heard – they have fresh ideas and understand the challenges Scotland and the world are facing.  Simple ideas like Lewis’s impact those involved as well as everyone else as together they contribute positively to climate change. 

This is why Lewis is proud to be a #OneStepGreener Ambassador – to promote these issues and encourage others with ideas to put them out there. Lewis feels that being a Scout has given him the confidence and initiative to take on this project and the resilience to challenge others and see things through.  These skills have come from his time in the Scouts.

Lewis, 12, said “Scouts gave me the opportunity to come up with a simple idea that could have a big impact and act on it.  I had the support of my leaders, and it gave me the confidence to not give up and keep going once I started getting positive responses from schools. I was surprised to be invited to 10 Downing Street, but I was excited. It is a day I will never forget, and I met some really cool people who wanted to hear about my environmental project and what I get up to with Scouts.

Lewis continued "It was interesting being in number 10. I met lots of people including MP Bim Afolami who was really interested in hearing about my project, what I do at Scouts and how I earned all my badges. He talked to me all about number 10 and the gardens. My idea is to reduce waste and see schools using leftover food by packaging it up and handing it out to food banks or people collecting it from schools. I emailed all schools in Scotland and I'm working to get a pilot up and running then I will go back to all the schools with more than just an idea. I am going to start fundraising to buy a fridge and environmental friendly packaging for the pilot. I came up with the idea for my environment project for my wold challenge badge."

Lewis urges everyone to consider what they could tdo to help the planet, "If you have an idea, put it out there - all the little changes add up and together we can have a positive impact on climate change”. As part of the Scout's #PromiseToThePlanet campaign from June to November this year, 57 million Scouts from across the world will take a stand and work towards a better world by taking action to reduce climate change. They’ll get hands-on to make a difference wherever they live, use their voices to inspire decision makers, and record their actions for the planet.

Dougie Simmers, Regional Commissioner for North East Scotland Scouts commented: “As Scouts we prepare young people with the skills for life and that includes learning about and taking action on social issues in the world. Our movement is about helping others and that’s how we started and it’s still the exact same today. Lewis is a great example of a young person taking initiative and through his time with the Scouts, has really highlighted the issue of food wastage in certain settings. Lewis has a great future in front of him and is a massive credit to our whole movement”

From tackling climate change to learning about morse code, Scouts offer over 200 adventurous activities and the chance for people of all ages to be more, do more and share more. Scouts gives people of all ages to learn the skills needed for life and to have one in a lifetime opportunity both at home and abroad. You can enrol your young person or join as an adult volunteer by checking out today and filling an application.

The full list of ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors from across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England includes:

Cam Whitnall (CBBC presenter), Simone Giampaolo (award-winning animator), Lewis Howe (Scout), Jamie Quince Starkey (Down to Earth), Sabeha Miah (Cycle Sisters), James Owen Thomas (Tree Council Ambassador), Aamir Khan (eco-conscious business owner), Maria Antonieta Nestor (A Toy’s Life and Beyond), Melissa Wilson (GB rower), Clare Every (vegan food blogger), Waimi, Mbetmi and Yimi Fongue (clean champions), Siobhan McKenna (ReJean Denim), Cathy Yitong Li (youth activist), Dame Jackie Daniel (NHS), Alice Powell (Envision Virgin Racing), Hugo Chambers (Sainsbury’s), Jasmine Allen (SSE), Toby McCartney (MacRebur), Sara Thomson (The Leith Collective), James Lloyd-Jones (Jones Food Company), Emer Rafferty (youth environmentalist), Ade Adepitan (Paralympic medalist and TV presenter), Max La Manna (low-waste chef), Rob Thompson (Odyssey Innovation), Ash Dykes (adventurer and extreme athlete) and Buffy Boroughs (Green Gathering Festival).


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