An Eco-Friendly School

HMSG Eco Project – an overview

HMSG has been promoting environmental awareness and participating in national and international environmental activities since 2007. The HMSG Eco Committee consists of volunteers from every year group and meets every Tuesday lunchtime in the Geography Department.

“We are proud to say that the School, as a whole, has a very positive and forward-thinking approach towards energy saving and promoting environmental issues.  Each area of the School works hard to minimise wastage and our effect on the environment. We are passionate about environmental issues and want to make HMSG and the wider world a greener place to live and work.”

Niamh Gray and Kia Ballantyne – Upper School Monitors

 

A summary of achievements to-date:

  • Designed and created an HMSG ‘eco-bag’, which was sold to parents and pupils.
  • Held a whole school ‘frock swap’ event – recycling unwanted clothes, shoes and bags.
  • Built nest boxes and insect houses with the help from the DT Department.
  • Promote environmental awareness through annual eco-competitions.
  • Carried out a parent eco-survey.
  • Created an eco-prefect position and Upper School Eco-Monitor positions.
  • Created an HMSG eco logo, eco-code, school web page and eco-noticeboard.
  • Present an eco-assembly each year to the whole school.
  • Carried out a number of school environmental reviews.
  • Promote the WWF’s Earth Hour and World Environment Day.
  • Upper School Eco-Monitors collect waste paper from various locations around the school.
  • Contributed to HMSG winning a £100,000 school energy makeover from British Gas, July 2015.
  • In 2016 we started a food waste campaign designed to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of food waste and to reduce plate waste in the dining room.
  • Between November and December 2016 HMSG took part in The POD (EDF Energy) ‘Switch Off Fortnight’ event, promoting energy conservation around the school.

HMSG’s Food Waste Campaign

Did you know in the UK we waste over 14 million tonnes of food each year? That’s equivalent to over 6 million apples, 9.8 million slices of bread and 700,000 eggs going into the ground every day. Worse still, burying food in landfill takes up valuable space and releases methane, which pollutes our air and the enviroment around us, and is also linked to global warming.

HMSG has teamed up with the company ReFood, they are food waste recycling specialists. They turn food waste into green energy using a process called anaerobic digestion. This generates renewable energy (methane) and a nutrient-rich fertiliser. To find out more go to http://refood.co.uk/

Currently the average weight of food waste at HMSG is 300kg per week, through our campaign we hope to reduce this.

Shell Bright Ideas Challenge

Shell Bright Ideas Challenge – What will cities look like in 2050 – how will they be powered to be vibrant, healthy and clean places for people to live?

The Eco Committee is currently working on an entry to this competition identifying key energy challenges a future city might face. Our entry looks at how a building can create cleaner, affordable energy and be more energy efficient.

Eco Committee members have been reearching green construction/sustainable building, living walls/green walls, rooftop farming, urban fish farms, renewable energy, and the use of energy apps and social media.

We plan to send off our poster entry before the Easter Holiday 2017.

Eco Assembly - Friday 3rd March 2017

Niamh Grey (Eco Upper School Monitor) has produced a script and PowerPoint on beef – a journey from farm to plate. The assembly focused on beef, an everyday food item, but how often do we consider its environmental impacts? Niamh’s assembly covered issues linked to cattle ranching, land and water use, methane gas and climate change, farm chemical pollution of rivers/lakes – eutrophication, transport costs – food miles and packaging – plastic waste.

The key message of the assembly is increase your knowledge about the food you eat. Think more about our everyday actions, try to eat more local food, this reduces food miles.