In Wednesday selected students in Years 10 and 12 attended an interactive and well-facilitated day of activities with Pret a Manger, staff (run by the Transformation Trust). Students were encouraged to think about the increasing importance of sustainability and made pitches to Pret's sustainability team to suggest improvements to their business model and its environmental impact. The winning team have been invited for lunch to present their ideas to the head of sustainability at Pret.
Whilst students enjoyed the day, the theme got them discussing sustainability in the school; as a group, they were passionate enough about this issue to make recommendations to improve Petchey's environmental impact, which I have promised to pass on to you. The students and I sincerely hope that some of these changes can be implemented in the academy. The students understand that climate change will affect them, primarily, as the next generation, and were concerned that more must be done in school to address our ecological impact, given the urgency of this issue.
- Students would like to see better monitoring of food waste in the canteen in the hope that menus can be quickly adapted to what students are eating more or less of. On a similar note students would like to ask if food waste is disposed as landfill or if it can instead be used as biofuel via the food waste bins the council provides.
- Students would like to see an end to plastic cutlery in the 6th Form cafe, and either a) no more cardboard boxes which go to landfill, or b) a reward-scheme for bringing one's own containers for food and drink. On the same note, students noted that all cups in the canteen are plastic and often break easily; would it be possible to find a more sustainable cup that can be used?
- Students were concerned at the lack of clearly labelled separate bins provided in school. Some suggested having student recycling-leads to collect recyclable waste from classrooms.
- In their research students found a number of CO2-neutral energy providers, and wanted the school to look into the feasibility of approaching such companies for our energy to significantly reduce our ecological impact.
It was a very thought prokoving day which linked in nicely to our Careers Week schedule. We hope to pick up these issues as these students progress and start looking at ways in which positive change can impact these 4 issues in particular.