By Ein J, Farah vdK, Lakshanasrutha S & Louisiane L.

Nowadays, global warming is treated as a huge problem to many people. Due to the increase of the deforestation, burning fossil fuels and other factors, we can easily see greenhouse effect and global warming all around us. To stop or slow down these negative effects on the environment, lots of decarbonising and repairing activities have been done internationally, including programmes encouraged by governments and communities. Eco club in BSN is a way of fighting against global warming. We will be explaining why people joined the Eco club and what projects have been done so far, why you should join the club and what we can do to help reduce the climate change.

There were many different reasons of joining the club through our personal experiences. Farah, one of the club members said she joined to learn more about being environmentally sustainable and help the community in some way. Louisiane said, ‘I joined Eco Team in year 9 because I wanted to help reduce our school’s negative impact on the environment. I was also interested in how we can try to be more environmentally sustainable as individuals.’ Ein’s motivation to join the club was ‘the interest of making the school community environmentally friendly’ but as she made out some progress on meaningful environmental activities she ‘came to enjoy more taking part of the club’. ‘Not only changing the school’s environment but creating awareness of local environmental issues also have been carried out through the activities in the Eco club so far’. Another member, Lakshanasrutha said, ‘I wanted to become a member of the Eco team as I knew it played an important role in creating environmental awareness amongst the students in our school. I have always wanted to help the committee and sustain the world in some way and this is when I thought joining could be my first steps. I also thought the eco team would be a great platform where I could gain more knowledge about the environment and finally contribute my own ideas to improve the school’s habits.’

Eco team has progressively been working on improving the biodiversity and awareness of ecological issue within school. If you were in the school in 2018, you might remember the tree planting that had carried out early in the school year. Organised by the Eco Team, this project was to help increase biodiversity and create habitats for small rodents near the back fence. The introduction of metal cutlery into the cafeteria was also a project established by the Eco Team. Some projects going on are less noticeable. Recently a group of students were working on a proposal to switch our school’s energy supplies to a more green, sustainable energy source. Equally, we will have new bins coming in soon as well, to help us sort plastic, paper and other waste.

A photo of us taken whilst planting wild flowers in the school grounds

Naturally, you do not have to be part of the Eco Team to have a positive impact on the environment. There are an infinite number of small, simple things that we can all implement in our daily lives to help the earth.

First of all: what can we all do at school to help the environment? Well, perhaps the best place to start is by investing in a reusable water bottle and bringing it to school instead of buying a new bottle of water from the vending machine literally almost every day (I’m really not exaggerating―some people’s lockers are more than a third filled with empty plastic water bottles). Another surprisingly easy thing to do is to walk to the correct recycling bins. Most of the time, the different recycling bins are merely a few meters apart, so the time it takes to walk from one to the other is not very substantial and it doesn’t require too much energy to make sure that you put paper in the paper bins, plastic in the plastic bins etc.  If you bring your own lunch to school every day this may not apply to you, but an immense quantity of plastic forks, knives and spoons are used and subsequently thrown away every day after people who have bought their food from the Student Café finish their lunches. Therefore, it would be great if more people could use metal utensils instead, and considering that everyone already has those at home (we hope), this would not be too much of a challenge.

There are also various ways to help the environment when we aren’t at school. The first things that probably come to mind but really do have tremendous impacts are not leaving the tap on unnecessarily and turning lights off when there are not in use. Those things only require a bit of mindfulness but fortunately it’s easy to turn them into a habit. Something that may be more of a hassle however, is being more mindful of single use plastic but one way that we could try to avoid some single use plastic, is by using reusable plastic bags when buying fruits and vegetables (these are sold in virtually all supermarkets nowadays and are a great investment) instead of the extremely thin plastic bags that are offered. The 2 final things that we can all learn to do at home, include reducing food waste (though a most of the time food waste is inevitable, but still try and recycling at home). With this last point, though it may feel irritating to walk to the nearest recycling bins carrying boxes of old papers, cans and wrappers, the journey will not have to be made too frequently and at the end of the day we need to make sure that we take care of the environment around us.

So why should you join the school’s Eco Team? Being part of the eco team will empower you, it will increase your environmental awareness and it will improve YOUR school environment! It might also create financial savings for your school as your team will make sure that everyone consumes less water and energy and produces less waste – in turn saving money that can be allocated elsewhere in the school much more usefully. You will find that it engages you more with the wider local community and it is a great opportunity for you to finally contribute some of your own ideas to help your school become more sustainable.