Bristol’s children and schools have been taking steps to make their local area more environmentally friendly.
13 Schools across Bristol, supported by the council’s sustainable learning team, have received the Green Flag award from the Eco-Schools initiative for their commitment to improving their local environment.
An event ceremony to celebrate their outstanding achievements was held last week (28 September) on board The Matthew. Children from the eco-committees were invited for celebratory drinks, food provided by 91 Ways and live music from The RePscycle Junk Band. There were also speeches by Natalie Fee from City to Sea and Tim Knappett from Keep Britain Tidy to congratulate the children on their achievements.
In order to be recognised for an award, a school must establish an eco-committee made up of pupils from each year group.
These pupils then take charge of looking at their school and local area to decide how they can improve their environment. Having identified potential issues, such as addressing littering or reducing energy use, the children then have to design an action plan setting out how they will tackle them.
This year, the children’s ideas have included holding an eco-fair, joining community litter picks, campaigning about dog waste and writing newsletters full of top tips for their community.
The awards are split into separate categories: Bronze, Silver and the top award, the Green Flag. Once a school is awarded a Green Flag it will need to reapply every two years to retain the award.
Cllr Claire Hiscott, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “I am delighted to have so many Bristol schools awarded a green flag for their contribution and commitment to becoming more environmentally conscious. I want to thank everybody from the hard-working teachers and pupils of our schools to the organisers of Eco Schools for their dedication to looking after our environment.
“One of the council’s visions for Bristol is that it should be a city that leads that leads the way on tackling climate change. We all need to play our part to help with this. It is so important that children learn the value of our natural environment, as it is their world to inherit from us and their challenges to face if we don’t start making changes now. Caring about the future of our planet is now more important than ever.”
Currently over 18,000 schools are part of the initiative, with over 1,000 schools having achieved the Green Flag award. Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy operates the Eco-Schools initiative in England.
For more information on the award and how to get involved visit: http://www.eco-schools.org.uk/.