At St Andrew’s we want to encourage our children to make green choices. We want our staff, children and parents to become more aware of environmental issues, both locally and in the wider world. We are conscious that our children live in a disposable society and we need to teach our children about the long lasting and devastating effect that humans are having on our planet and how their choices can make an impact.
This is a quote from one of our Year 5 Eco warriors, explaining why green issues are important to her.
“I believe in a pollution-free future, where extinction does not happen and animals live free in the jungle. I hope to change the world from the disasters that are happening, beginning with our school. Together, we will do great things. We will protect the planet from the damage we have done to it. Starting here!”
We have set up an Eco school committee of mixed aged pupils and adults who meet half termly to undertake an environmental review and discuss future environmental action for the school. The children are very enthusiastic and have some fantastic ideas about what we can do to make ourselves a greener school.
We have a designated Eco schools notice board with reminders and information and well as the Action plan and photographs of Eco Kidz, our school lunchtime Eco club run by the school Eco warriors.
Where possible, environmental issues are covered as part of curriculum work in most year groups across a range of subjects
This is a list of some of the initiatives we have started;
- Collecting used pens (at school and from home) to take to the recycling depot.
- Collecting fruit peelings at break times to put in our compost bins.
- Paper recycling in each classroom and a tray for scrap paper to reuse for rough work.
This year we hope to focus on the following suggestions;
- Ban non-refillable water bottles (for children and staff)
- Provide each classroom with a set of reusable plastic cups – for children without water bottles – rather than using single use plastic cups.
- Eco warriors will ensure that classroom lights and monitors are turned off when children leave to reduce energy waste.
- We will write to the Council about the provision of a recycling bin so we can recycle plastic waste from lunchboxes and the school kitchen.
- We will trial litter picking around the school and village to reduce the amount of plastic rubbish in the local environment.
- Our teachers will reduce laminating to reduce unnecessary plastic use.
We have had visitors from the local council to speak to the children about the importance of recycling. Our visitor gave us some shocking facts about how long it takes plastic waste in landfill sites to decompose and the importance of using less plastic.
We have taken part in ‘no electricity day’ where the children and teachers worked hard to use as little energy as possible to highlight how valuable energy is in our day to day lives and how important it is not to waste electricity. We have also taken part in ‘Switch Off fortnight’ and the Eco warriors will be continuing to encourage their teachers and classmates to focus on further reducing energy waste in school.
We have continued to find local initiatives that may help parents to make greener choices. For example, local supermarkets are starting to reduce their single-use plastic and provide reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables in stores. The local Health Food shop (Natural Health) sells lots of Eco-friendly products, refills for shampoo, hand wash, detergent, and packaging-free soap (made with sustainable palm oil, so no cutting down the rainforests).
By highlighting the importance of environmental issues and providing children with ways to reduce the impact of humans on our planet will enable them to question their choices and therefore instil a ‘normality’ to reducing waste, reusing items and recycling as part of their everyday life. Going forward our children will therefore make greener choices as they get older and become adults in the wider world.