She adds: “Going off-grid might curb your energy usage, but that’s only one part of the wider puzzle. I don’t think you can be very green if you’re not involved in your community and the wider world.”
Carrie agrees. In some ways, raising a child in an environmentally friendly fashion might be easier if she moved to an isolated spot. “Adam isn’t immune to peer pressure,” she says. “We have plastic toys in the house, but we mostly get them from charity shops.”
The Corts repair and upcycle their clothes. Food is composted, and they don’t iron, tumble dry or even use bin liners. They take low-carbon holidays, but they did once take Adam to Disneyland Paris. “It’s hard,” says Carrie, “because you feel like a bad parent if you deprive them of these experiences, but guilty about the environmental impact if you do.”
“Young children take on board what is modelled at home,” says Rachelle Strauss, whose own family hit the headlines in 2011 after reducing their annual household waste to the size of one carrier bag. “They join in with your behaviour and any lifestyle choices you make are the ‘norm’. But when they get older they naturally begin to question things.”
To that end, Carrie gives workshops and runs clubs at primary schools, making eco art projects or building eco-vehicles out of recycled materials.
“Kids grasp the importance of this stuff so fast,” she says. As we speak, Adam is racing around the garden, building a raft out of junk.
How is he planning to spend his £500 prize from WWF, I ask. “We’re going to clean up the school pond,” he says with a grin.
“He gets it,” says Carrie. “Really, it’s him and his friends who fill me with hope for the future.”