10 May 2022

MP and Charity CEO help to wrap up Abingdon’s Eco Week

Between 3 and 6 May, Abingdon School hosted an Eco Week, in which pupils, staff and the wider community (including member schools of the OX14 Learning Partnership) were encouraged to focus on sustainability through a number of events and student led initiatives aimed at encouraging individuals to help lower their impact on the environment.

Led by students from Abingdon’s Eco Committee, initiatives included encouraging individuals to reduce food waste by only taking the portion size of lunch they intended to eat. The Eco Committee set up a collection scheme to recycle empty pill packets by arranging collection points around the school site and taking the collected empty pill packets to local pharmacies (pill packaging cannot be recycled in regular home recycling as they contain a mixture of plastic and foil and, instead, end up in landfill). Staff and students were asked to reduce carbon miles by considering their journey to and from work / school and to opt for green alternatives, where possible. They were also asked to think about reducing their energy usage and to get into the habit of turning lights off (or not on at all if not required) when exiting classrooms / offices. Abingdon School also published its latest scores per building of energy usage and solar panel generation.

On Tuesday 3 May, the School hosted an Eco Forum. Organised by Abingdon School in Partnership, students from John Mason School, Radley, St Helen and St Katharine and Abingdon came together to brainstorm ideas which their own schools could adopt in order to ensure environmental excellence in the following areas: education and student experience; engagement and leadership; biodiversity and the built environment; marine and water; energy; waste; healthy living; and transport. The theme of ‘Think Big-Act Local’ resulted in the creation of a manifesto which was presented to David Johnston OBE MP and Marcus Gover CEO WRAP, at an Eco debate hosted in Abingdon’s Amey Theatre on Friday 6 May. WRAP works in the UK and internationally to tackle the climate emergency by changing the way natural resources are used and re-used and which specialises in the sustainability of food, plastics and clothing.

Tony Gray, Head of Abingdon’s Environmental Committee, said of the week: “I am very grateful to the Eco Committee students for their passion and hard work in putting together the initiatives which made this week such a success; to staff for getting involved; the OX14 Learning Partnership and and to our guest experts whose guidance and expertise will live with our students for years to come.”

“Initiatives such as Eco Week, certainly bring sustainability firmly into focus, helping individuals to realise the difference they themselves can make. However, as we continue to make sustainability part of the everyday life at Abingdon, our efforts remain ongoing and, later this month, we are joining ‘The Big Plastic Count’ – the purpose of which is for individuals to establish how much plastic they use in order to encourage the government to back viable re-usable options.”

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