Eco Warrior Update July 2019
We mixed some of our compost with sharp sand and bought compost to plant some tomato, bean and sunflower seeds in to sell at the May Fair. With some help from parents we managed to have quite a few seedlings to sell alongside our ‘plant a pumpkin seed’p’ and our second hand uniform stalls. We were delighted to that we raised approximately £100.
A group of Eco Warriors met together to decide which charities they would like to make a donation to. They wanted to help keep the ocean clean and agreed to donate £35 to Surfers Against Sewage, so they can carry on their good work. They also gave £35 to help Rangers in the Masai Mara to keep poachers away from the wild animals. The money will be used to kit them out with boots, uniforms and walkie talkies.
With the glorious weather in June we experienced a huge problem with unwanted flies. As we are still in our first year of composting, we are learning all the time, a lot of what we do is trial and error. We were delighted to get a grip on the situation and hope that if this problem arises again we have the right tools in place to resolve it. Sometimes it’s tricky to be ‘green’!
Bio Diverse Garden
We are continuing to make changes in our garden area. Some clearing, weeding and pruning has taken place alongside some planting to attract more insects and wildlife to the garden.
Some Eco Warriors have drawn plans of what they would like in the garden to attract wildlife. They have also thought about bug, bee, bird houses. We’ve been fortunate to obtain some free houses, a bird bath and garden fork among other items from the local ‘Buy Nothing Mortimer’ group, alongside a donated bug hotel from parents. The children are also going to build their own bug hotel. Watch this space!
A box was created of resources for children to use when they are in the garden. These include identification books, binoculars, magnifying glasses etc.
Whilst still trying to reduce what we send from school to landfill we have now replaced our general waste bins at school. We think it is easier and clearer to identify what wastes goes where . We have also made sure each class has a yellow tray for scrap paper. Children understand that they have to use both sides of a piece of paper before it goes into the blue paper recycling bin.
Eco Warrior Party Pack
In a bid to cut back on single use plastic the Eco Warriors and P&F worked together to create the ‘Eco Warrior Party Pack’.
The Party Pack consists of thirty reusable plastic dishwasher safe plates, bowls, cups and also two plastic jugs.
To hire the ‘Party Pack’ simply email “EcoWarriorPartyPack@gmail.com” to select your chosen date. Collect the Party Pack from the school office and pay £5 on collection. Then wash & return within two days.
Wokefield Park Visit
A good Eco Warrior shares the knowledge they have gained along the way and we were delighted to be asked to help Wokefield Park’s ‘Green Team’ build a bug hotel to attract wildlife to their grounds. We used this opportunity to share our knowledge of composting and to try to encourage Wokefield Park to engage in composting. The children thoroughly enjoyed putting dead leaves, straw, bamboo etc into each layer of the bug hotel. They then made seed bombs which they threw at the bug hotel so the seeds would scatter all around and grow into wonderful wild flowers which will attract lots of wildlife.
Eco Warrior Update April 2019
All of the pens and oral care products that we have collected so far have been sent to Terracycle to be recycled. We are delighted to announce that we have recycled 16kg of pens and 1.6kg of oral hygiene products. This is fantastic news but most importantly this has all been saved from going into landfill. Well done Eco Warriors! Remember to still recycle pens and toothbrushes at school!
Eco Week Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th April 2019
Eco Week was launched on Wednesday with a whole school assembly on “What is our carbon footprint?\”. In small groups the children completed a quiz to see how ‘green’ they were and if they had a big or small carbon footprint. Everyone had to draw around their own foot and then complete a map of their carbon footprint, by writing or drawing pictures to show what things they do that contribute to their own carbon footprint.
Thursday’s assembly was by Andrea from “Plastic Free Mortimer”, she shared with the children the work they are doing in the village to reduce the use of single use plastic. They also discovered that the more single use plastic you use the bigger your carbon footprint!
Friday’s assembly was about how big carbon footprints are affecting our planet. We focused on what we could do to reduce our carbon footprints. These were some of our ideas:-
Turning off taps to save water.
Switching lights off or the television off when you leave a room.
Turn of computers when not in use.
Turn your heating down a degree or two.
Hanging washing out to dry.
Recycle where possible.
Compost food waste.
Don’t waste paper. Use both sides.
Walk, cycle or scooter instead of using the car.
Take reusable bags to the shops.
Mural made by reusing plastic bottle tops.
During Eco Week every child took part in creating a beautiful mural of our school oak tree. The children took it in turns to glue plastic lids of different colours onto a board to create this wonderful piece of art work! Any lids that were left over are being donated to Mortimer St. Mary\’s school to use for their Eco Week later in the year.
Over the Easter holidays the children were set the challenge of building a useful item out of recycled materials. We were delighted to see the wonderful array of useful items that the children made by recycling unwanted things! We had a cushion made using an old school PE T-shirt stuffed with plastic bags, stationery pots, pencil pots, bird feeders, bird houses bug hotels, toys and a handmade shopping bag.
Our competition winners were Amelie, Bertie, Chloe and Riley. Well done everyone!
During the week each class competed to see who could collect the most pens, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes to recycle. All of the items were weighed on Friday afternoon. The winners were Fox Class, who received a special prize of extra “Golden Time”. Well done Fox Class!
Walking a mile
During Eco Week the children also thought about how to stay fit and healthy. All of the children went on a mile walk around the village and the Foundation Stage children designed a healthy lunchbox.
Eco Warrior Update March 2019
Incredible news! We have earned our Bronze Eco School award as a result of all the amazing changes we have made at school!
Since we have been composting all of our food waste on site and improved how we recycle paper/card we have reduced our general waste collections down to 1100 litres a week, instead of 2200 litres a week, saving the school approximately £800 per year. This saving has also been possible because Woodside Recycling are now collecting our papercard waste free of charge.
Our Eco Warriors are responsible for composting the food waste after lunch. We are pleased to advise that we have just harvested our first batch of compost from our maturation bin. This compost has been added to one of our raised beds to improve the quality of the soil. When we add food waste to our Ridan turning system we also have to add sawdust which we are kindly gifted from BPS Plus Ltd. We are also helped with the delivery cost of this sawdust by Parker’s Estate Agency in Burghfield.
Biodiversity & Water
Our Eco Warriors have been designing a bio diverse area to attract more wildlife into the school grounds and are considering which plants to add to encourage wildlife. They would also like to include a water butt, bird bath and a bug hotel!
Our water butt has been installed and has managed to capture some rain during the Easter holidays. The Eco Warriors will use this water to look after our plants and make sure the birds have water in the bird bath!
Tackling Single Use Plastic
A group of Eco Warriors invited a parent from the Parents and Friends Committee to come into school so they could talk to them about the worrying situation of plastic in our oceans. The Eco Warriors raised questions such as: “ How does the plastic in the oceans make you feel?”, “What single use plastic does the committee use when holding a school disco?” After a detailed discussion it was decided that when running the school disco the Parents and Friends Committee would use reusable plastic cups. The Eco Warriors purchased these from money raised selling second hand uniform and donated them to the Parents and Friends Committee. The intention is that these reusable cups will replace single use cups at as many Parents and Friends events as possible. Good work Eco Warriors!
Eco Warrior Update February 2019
We are delighted to advise that through fundraising, we have raised enough monies to purchase our composting system, which has been installed. We have a wonderful area to house the turning system and two maturation boxes. This week we have started to compost all of our food waste from the kitchen and the classroom food-recycling caddies. Our specialist Eco Warriors will be helping to recycle the food waste on a daily basis.
Our aims are to reduce our waste disposal costs, reduce landfill, reduce greenhouse gases, reduce road transport, reduce our school carbon footprint and create our own compost to use to grow plants. Thank you for all your support with making this happen.
The Eco-Warrior Leaders have watched clips of other schools who have created an Eco Code for their school. It was decided that Mortimer St. John’s should have their own code. Some of the Eco Warrior leaders got together and created a code for our school, this will be presented to the rest of the school in the next Eco Warriors assembly.
The Eco Warrior leaders have completed a review of the following areas in our school:-
Healthy Living, Global Citizenship, School Grounds, Transport, Litter, Energy, Biodiversity, Waste and Water.
We have been focusing on waste, however, during discussions the Eco Warrior leaders decided that they would also like to focus on Biodiversity and Water. An action plan has been created and a sub-committee has been set up to research ideas for creating a biodiverse area next to the composting area.
Please take a minute to look at our Eco Board where you will find a copy of our Environmental Review as well as action plans, minutes of our meetings and other interesting information.
Eco Warrior Update September 2018
In each classroom we now have a blue bin for paper and card, a green food caddy for our snack waste and a general waste bin. The blue bin containing paper and card gets emptied into a large wheelie bin and is collected by Woodside Recycling. Our green caddy’s are emptied along with all food waste from the kitchen into a brown food bin which is collected by Veolia. Lastly our general waste bins our emptied into a large general waste wheelie bin which is also collected by Veolia. Plastic milk bottles are also recycled at home by staff.
The Eco Warriors would like to be able to turn all of the food waste produced into lovely compost on the school site. To enable them to do this they would like to buy a turning compost system which will be installed within the school grounds. This of course requires funds which the children are actively trying to raise.
Some of the children, parents and staff took part in the Mortimer 3K fun run and 8K walk on Sunday 30th September to raise money for the composter and Books 4 Nepal. We have also written to some charities requesting help to finance the composter. The picture below is of the area that has been allocated for our new composting system.
Mortimer St. John\’s are now registered as a drop off point with Terracycle to collect old pens, highlighters, whiteboard pens, correction fluid bottles, toothpaste tubes (rinsed out), plastic toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. The children can bring these items into school or they can be dropped off at \’The Baobab\’ who are collecting on our behalf.
Eco Warrior Update July 2018
We relaunched Eco Warriors in May this year with an assembly at school. All the children were invited to become Eco Warriors, however, if they wanted to become an Eco Warrior Leader they had to complete an application form. The application had to list reasons why they wanted to become an Eco Warrior Leader and what changes they wanted to make in our school. These children were then interviewed.
Following this process around four children from each class were selected to become part of the Eco Warrior Committee whose aim it is to improve the school environment and help look after our world.
At our first Eco Warrior Committee meeting Mrs Bale and the children discussed what the bins were used for inside the classrooms. The children were unclear how to correctly use the two bins in the classroom and they were also unsure what happened to them after they were emptied at the end of the school day. The Committee decided to do some investigating and it was suggested that a waste audit should be undertaken.
For a week the Eco Warrior Leaders researched what was being put into the general waste and the paper bins in the classrooms, school offices, staff room and in the school kitchen. Each day the amount food waste, paper waste and general waste was measured . This was hard work but the results showed that we needed to make some changes!
Our waste results for one week in kg’s:
Paper/card – 48kg
General waste – 120kg
Raw food waste – 12kg
Cooked food waste – 30kg
Second Hand Uniform Sale
The children decided to hold a second hand uniform sale. They thought this was a good way of reusing old unwanted school uniform, as uniforms with logos cannot be recycled in the “bags to school” collection. Posters were made and the donated uniform was sorted ready for the sale. The Eco Warriors sold the uniform in the playground after school for a week. The money raised was used to buy a green food caddy for each classroom and donations were also made to the Marine Conservation Society and Books 4 Nepal charities.
Books 4 Nepal
Andrea from the Books 4 Nepal project came into school to talk to the children during an assembly. The Eco-Warriors were so impressed with the project that they wanted to raise funds to help with the building of a library in Jibajibe village in Nepal. An Eco-Warrior meeting was held, Mrs Sumner kindly agreed that the school could donate some old library books to the project. Some children and parents were also sponsored for taking part in the Mortimer Fun Run and along with the Brownies they raised an amazing £785. Half of these monies were donated to the Books 4 Nepal project, along with £30 that was raised from a second hand uniform sale. The remaining monies have been kept and are going to be used to buy a composting system.
Race for Life
On Wednesday 4th July the whole school took part in 1 mile fun run around the ‘Fairground’. The children were delighted to receive a medal for their amazing efforts, a magnificent £2305.40 was raised for Cancer Research UK – well done everyone!
Bag 2 School
We have a Bag 2 School collection in March, June and October every year. Any used and unwanted clothes, shoes, bags and soft toys can be ‘bagged up’ and brought to school ready to be collected. We also have a team of dedicated parents who drive around the village and collect donated bags from the local residents. The full bags are weighed by the Bags 2 School team and a cheque is given to the school based on the weight of the donations.