launches ‘Concord College Eco Week’

Monday April 26, 2021

Concord launched an exciting new student-led initiative, Concord College Eco Week, with activities seminars and events throughout the last week, to raise environmental awareness and become more eco-friendly. The initiative, set up by Concord’s Eco Club and Student Union – with support from the college’s Eco Committee – looked at addressing four key waste issues in the college: energy, paper, food and plastic, in addition to how we can individually live ‘greener’ lives. Activities and events included hot-seating on ‘eco issues’, seminars, daily presentations during tutor time and educational videos, quizzes, society-specific sessions, as well as an upcycling workshop. The upcycling workshop was part of Project S, a new school-wide initiative which promotes sustainability through creativity and slow fashion. Concord Art teacher and Head of Project S, Miss Lucy Dentith said: “We want old clothes to be given new life by you; upcycling and saving them from ending up in landfill and maybe even celebrating and exhibiting them. “Everyone is welcome to get involved in future sessions, to learn new skills, make and mend, be creative, donate and learn about how to be responsible for the clothing we buy. “Being able to create together can be a powerful experience, especially when we know it is having a positive impact on the people and world we live in.” Thursday marked ‘Earth Day’ – a global movement designed to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Concord’s Art Department shared the recent works of Form 3 and Form 4 students, on the theme of: The Future Belongs To You – What Do You Want It To Look Like? Access the photo gallery by clicking here. Staff also presented their own top eco tips to students, which involved topics such as compost and food waste; foods contributing to greenhouse gas emissions; recycling and upcycling; reusable shopping bags; landfill legacy; shopping locally; alternative energy systems; hybrid vehicles and more. Between Thursday and Saturday, students launched a ‘no beef’ policy which the Catering team supported. Student-Head of Eco Committee, 6.1 student Rachel said: “For those three days, we wanted to raise awareness in the student body about the environmental impacts of our food choices.” “Videos were shown in tutor time highlighting that beef is a food that has a significantly higher carbon footprint than other foods – so students were encouraged to have other meat or non-meat options.” The week culminated with the launch of a pop-up Eco Store, after success last term with the college’s newly launched online Eco Store, whereby students and staff could take part in auctions to purchase items for daily life and boarding. The Eco Club stated that “the shop was set up to dispense the small number of items that the leavers of 2020 left behind and were unable to reclaim in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.” 6.2 student Jasmine of the Eco Club added: “The shop has now expanded to offer items that current students do not wish to keep.” The physical store was set up on Saturday in Concord’s West End, giving students and staff the opportunity to attend in their year-group ‘bubbles’, with members of Eco Club being volunteers for shopping assistance and item quarantining. 6.1 student Rachel said: “The Eco Store revival yesterday was successful beyond our expectations. We raised more than £200 pounds in just the 6.1 and 6.2 sessions! “It’s definitely something we hope to continue to do in the future to raise funds to support environmental conservation initiatives.” Head of Concord’s Eco Committee, and Mathematics teacher Mrs Emma Charles added: “The Eco Store was a success, making around £350. “Many students went away with fabulous items for bargain prices!” All proceeds from purchases will be donated to the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), to ensure long-term protection of the world’s ecosystem and its wildlife. On Sunday evening, Concord students and staff celebrated ‘Earth Hour’ – a lights-off event around the college – and around the world for remote learners, with pre-recoded performances, and eco-related games, such as Kahoot, Pictionary and Two Truths One Lie. According to Jasmine, “students had the great opportunity to enrich their knowledge on various environment-related topics, such as waste production and species loss.” Said Mrs Charles: “The Earth Hour performances were beautiful and showcased so much talent.” Rachel added: “The week was a huge success. I love the enthusiasm some of our teammates have shown and it’s taught me a lot about leadership, communication, and trust. “We hope that this week has inspired our students to make some changes in their lives, no matter how small, to help conserve the environment, because it is only when we ourselves are willing to change, can we influence our governments and big corporations to do the same.” As was the key question of the week, here is a challenge to all… Can you make one small eco change starting today?