You’re never too young to be an eco-warrior

As part of our Climate Crisis series, South Leeds Life asked local schools what they are doing around environmental education and action. Here are the responses from Cockburn school and Greenmount Primary School in Beeston, but first the members of Westwood Primary School‘s Eco Club in Middleton:

We are a small school-based eco club consisting of 5 children who range from years 3 to 6 led by 2 adults. We meet every Tuesday after school. We try to look at ways in which we can do better for our immediate environment and what is happening elsewhere in the world. Westwood Eco Club started because we care. We care about where we live, we care about nature and we care about the world as a whole.

We want to reduce littering both in our community and wider – this will help to keep our planet clean and save the animals. We know we can’t save the world, but maybe we can save our little part of it.

We have only been meeting for a few short weeks, but in that time we have looked at a variety of topics. We have learnt about the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and we are trying to implement those into our daily lives.

We have a selection of preloved uniform within school that anybody can access which will hopefully cut down on the need to buy new every time.

Greta Thunberg is someone who has left an impression on us. To see a young girl, not much older than us, having such a huge impact on the world is inspiring. “If you believe you can do it, you can and you will!”

We have touched on the use of single use plastics and where we can cut back. For example, instead of having a bottle of hand soap, a bottle of body wash and a bottle of face wash, you can have a single bar of soap that does the job of all Three. Who knew?

For our Christmas Fair we made Christmas crackers from cardboard tubes and used newspaper and instead of little plastic toys inside we made flower seed packages which will help the bees in the summer. We also collected a variety of containers and turned them into plant pots.

Hopefully, we can become a recycling point for pens and crisp packets but we are still awaiting news on that. However, we have still made collection boxes for pens etc for each of the classrooms and if we cannot be a direct recycle point, they will be taken to the closest point which is in Leeds City Centre.

We are currently planning an eco day in school. This will be on Wednesday 22 April, which is Earth Day. For this we will encourage children to walk to school and leave the car at home. There will be a variety of activities throughout the school, but fundamentally we will learn about environmental topics and climate change.

We hope to plant new trees and introduce plants to the classrooms to help improve air quality indoors. As part of our eco day we will organise a clothes swap; just because you don’t wear it anymore doesn’t mean nobody will.

We would really like it if other schools could get involved on Earth Day. Imagine if all the schools within South Leeds took part and the impact that could have.

Cockburn School told us:

Cockburn School students understand that part of being responsible citizens is being responsible for our environment and the world around us. Cockburn School aims to renew their Eco School status and key messages have been shared with students about the importance of reducing our plastic waste and energy consumption. These have been reinforced around school, in Science and Geography lessons and on social media. In February, members of the school council will attend the Climate Change Youth Summit at Leeds Civic Hall to discuss further ways we can protect our planet and look for initiatives to bring back into school.

And from Greenmount Primary School, Nikki Green said:

I’m the Science leader at Greenmount and this year we have signed up to the ‘Ecoschools’ programme and are working towards a bronze award.
In light of this we have out own ‘EcoWarriors’ who consist of one child in every class attend meetings every half term- we have completed an Eco audit which showed we need to work on our waste in school. This then led on to our Eco day which the whole school took part in- lots of pictures of the day can be found on our twitter page @Greenmountsch.
As well as this we have partnered up to a primary school in Kenya and we are comparing our waste to theirs. We have shown them how they can improve their waste and visa versa.