From our Eco Committee
This year I joined St Mary's School, and I have enjoyed becoming part of the Eco Committee as an Outreach Officer. In this role, I have brought my ideas and passion to the fight against the climate crisis with a group of like-minded students who share determination and eagerness to help our community to protect the planet!
Eco Committee comprises students from Year 7 to Year 13 who all aspire to make a positive difference in the school community by helping our environment. We hold fortnightly meetings, discussing and planning ideas and aspirations regarding our next actions. For example, this year, a significant project has been working towards the Eco Schools Green Flag Award, recognising the contributions that schools can make to create a more sustainable planet.
As part of the Award, one of our focus topics is Marine. We've organised and participated in different projects for Marine, such as making ocean animals out of plastic waste and delivering whole school assemblies. I particularly enjoyed participating in our Whale Tail Project celebrating Earth Day, in which we built a whale tail sculpture made of used plastic collected from school students. We had a lot of fun doing this activity, not only because of the creativity involved but we enjoyed working together to finish the project as a group; it gave us a great sense of teamwork and community.
Another key topic we are focusing on this year is Waste. Closer to the beginning of the year, we introduced the ReWorked Bin. The company ReWorked collects unrecyclable materials, such as face masks and crisp packets, and turns them into useful products such as chairs, plant pots and chalkboards. This has been incredible for our school's waste responsibility as many students use it. We also had the chance to get out into the community and completed a litter pick as part of the Keep Britain Tidy's Great Big School Clean scheme.
To raise awareness about issues surrounding waste, we delivered an assembly focused on the 5 R's- Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose and Recycle. We encouraged students to participate in the Big Plastic Count. Through initiatives like these, we hope we have helped the school understand the importance of being responsible for the waste we all produce.
Leading such projects has enabled us as members of the Committee to develop our confidence, leadership and communication skills.
Inspiring younger students
A particularly exciting project this year was the Climate Change Book Project with alumna student Elena Gough. Through this, we were given a chance to expand our audience as we delivered a session to a Year 2 class at the Junior School, to highlight Elena's book, 'Finding Home Again' (@finding.home.again). The book helps younger children to become more aware of the climate crisis, and we had a fantastic time interacting with Year 2, and felt it was a valuable chance to share our ideas.
Throughout the year, we also ran fortnightly Eco Wednesdays, where all year groups in the school are welcome to join in fun, eco-related activities in which we hope to spread awareness in a more exciting and inspiring way!
For example, some of our past activities have included: making seed bombs in the garden with the gardeners, a creative writing workshop for the GSA Young People's Writing competition, watching TED talks, masking reusable masks, and so much more. In the next couple of weeks, we plan to hold a vegan baking session in the school's food tech room!
This year we have accomplished many exciting achievements as a group that have been both fun and inspiring. I have had an amazing time and hope that next year, we will be able to continue inspiring and taking action for the better.
Luisa M., Eco Committee
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