Lots of pupils at Beaconhurst are concerned about the effects of plastic pollution on the environment. Our One Earth Eco Club got together with the Eco committee to create a Plastics Focus group. We brainstormed ideas on different topics. We aim to raise awareness of our plastic usage and reduce it.
We held an event called ‘Our Plastic Legacy’. We invited companies, teachers, friends and families from our community. This event was led by pupils.
Our head boy and girl, Daniel Hesp and Rhona Kiernan started off by talking about the damage plastics have on our environment. They explained how they travel into the sea, harm animals and enter the food chain. Next, Prefect Charlotte Fletcher talked about the chemistry of plastics and why they can’t biodegrade. She explained that plastics have important uses but aren’t necessary for everything, particularly single-use plastics. After that, Emma Keith (S1) told us about what we as a school community have done to reduce plastic waste.
Next, I played an interactive game with the audience called ‘lose your bottle’. The game teaches us how much water is used to create a bottle of water. Why don’t you try the game? you might be surprised, as it is a lot! https://jointhepod.org/games/lose-your-bottle/interactive/bottle.html
Heather Hale (S1) and Tara Mathewson (S1) then asked a very thought-provoking question which was ‘are we willing to ruin an environment simply for convenience?’ Isabelle Kendall and Anya Cairns, from P7, then tipped out all the water bottles that school pupils had used this year. They showed us a Beaconhurst water bottle they designed. Buy selling this we would hopefully reduce single-use water bottles on campus. The reusable Beaconhurst water bottle is made out of metal so it can ultimately be recycled.
We then worked in groups to come up with ideas on how to use less plastic individually. We also thought of ideas that we could pursue as a community. We will let you know of our progress shortly.
Over all our event was very successful and we had very positive feedback from our visitors. Here is what some of them said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event and learnt new ways of reducing my consumption of plastics and to encourage others to do the same. The presentations were informative and thought provoking and confidently delivered.” Mr Mercer, Member of the public
“I thought the presentations were excellent and the pupils involved deserve a lot of credit for their attitudes, ideas and innovation to this cause. If there were community projects or groups in future, then I am sure we would be receptive to offering support if we could.” Sharon Dudgeon, University of Stirling
“I was going to email you this morning to say how fantastic your plastic legacy event was. The pupils were wonderful, so mature and passionate in their delivery, you could really see how important it was for them to engage with the community and raise awareness of the issues and actions people can be taking!” Michelle Adamson, Keep Scotland Beautiful
Completing Challenges will help you climb the Water Explorer leaderboard. In addition, your project work can be used to support CREST and Eco-Schools Awards.
CREST Award (British Science Association)
Each year, over 32,000 CREST Awards are undertaken by 11-to-19-year-olds, giving them opportunities to explore real-world science, technology, engineering and maths projects in an exciting way.
Use Water Explorer Challenges as a basis for a CREST Bronze Award. To get the Award, you’ll need to spend at least 10 hours on your project. Find out more about CREST Bronze Award here.
Tackle Water Explorer Challenges and gather evidence to apply for an Eco-Schools Award. Challenges address several Eco-School topics including Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship. Take the plunge and go for your Green Flag Award! Find out more about Eco-Schools England here.
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Global Action Plan UK (GAP UK) is an environmental behaviour change charity that has been helping people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles for over 20 years. GAP UK works with schools, communities and businesses to develop and deliver programmes that change behaviours.
GAP UK led the design of the global WaterExplorer programme and is coordinating its delivery across the 11 countries. You can find out more about us at www.globalactionplan.org.uk