It has been a busy year for the Eco Committee which involved yet another inspection from Eco Schools to confirm that we were still eligible to fly our EcoSchools Flag.
The inspector’s comments are below:
“New College School has a large and highly engaged Eco Council staffed by intelligent and enthusiastic boys who are truly passionate about their work and are doing a great job in ensuring that their fellow pupils are well informed. I was especially impressed by their ‘Eco-Nomist’ newsletter! The school have historically taken, and continue to take, many steps to ensure that their school is environmentally friendly and the theme of sustainability runs through many areas of the curriculum. Well done to everyone and keep up the great work.”
The boys were excellent ambassadors and showed an in-depth knowledge of the problems we faced as a school and globally. During ‘Switch Off Fortnight’ in November school Eco Monitors were out in force encouraging their teachers and friends to save energy. The Eco Committee Secretary used data, gathered by daily readings of the school meters, to establish a definite downward trend in energy usage across the School.
Pre-Prep Year 2 representatives joined the committee part way through the year and were very keen to share their views on the marketing of, and to suggest new products for, the Eco Shop. Bamboo toothbrushes, and smaller recycled notebooks have now been added to the shop’s Eco range. A re-brand is to be considered in the not too distant future, on the suggestion of the committee, and some excellent, creative suggestions have already been made.
‘Waste Week’ gave the committee an opportunity to remind pupils of the meaning of the recycling signs on the playground bins; a short quiz organised by the Year 8s confirmed that pupils’ knowledge was remarkably accurate this year and they seemed more sure of what can and can’t be recycled than in previous years.
The Year 3s, 4s and 5s have been the most enthusiastic litter pickers in school this year and rumour has it they are keen for the committee to plan a community litter pick in Mansfield and Savile Roads, which is something the committee is hoping to organise for Michaelmas. New initiatives suggested by the committee and introduced in Trinity term were ‘Package Free Fruity Fridays’, and a specific focus on vegetarian options at lunchtime to encourage a reduction in the School’s carbon footprint.
The determination and persuasive arguments of the Year 8 committee members, who have been very pro- active this year, also led to a school paper saving by the reduction in size and content of the chapel service sheets. Further projects in the pipeline for next term will involve a partnership with ‘Terracycle’ who collect difficult to recycle products and up-cycle or re-cycle them. The committee is looking into the possibility of collecting specific non-recyclable packaging used at school, so it can then be sent to them for disposal, thus avoiding land fill. The committee is also looking into a long-term project involving the production of Eco Bricks which are made through the up-cycling of bottles and other waste products to produce bricks. Pupils have already been thinking about what lasting item or sculpture they might make with them for the playground.