Living and thinking sustainably

Sustainability

This article was originally published in the Old Bedalian Newsletter 2020.

The whole school community has been doing more to reuse, reduce and recycle in the wake of the climate change campaign that has been dominating the streets and the media, drawing attention to the urgency of the global changes that need to be made.

Bedales hosted a ‘Funeral for the Planet’ earlier this year, where a climate emergency was announced. The event was organised by Bedales Head of Geography Paul Turner, who became one of the UK’s first United Nations-accredited climate change teachers. Bedales’ Geography department has also recently launched the UK’s first climate breakdown scheme of work, collaborating with other teachers and organisations.

Following this, a group of 60 students joined a climate change protest in March, marching from Parliament Square to Buckingham Palace and were encouraged by the amount of support they received from tourists, construction workers and even police officers. Students took part in more protests in Petersfield and in London, with a small group attending a symposium on climate change at the London School of Economics. A number of speakers were present including Lord Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, who addressed the question of, ‘What should individuals, communities, schools and universities do to stop climate change?’

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Sustainability Action Group update

By Jamie Thorogood, Block 3

You may remember the news that Bedales had joined the TerraCycle scheme back in October, when Head of Geography Paul Turner made an appeal for waste items that can’t be placed in traditional recycling bins. Since then, we have been collecting plastic pens, bread bags, crisp packets, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes to send off to be ‘TerraCycled’.

This week, the Sustainability Action Group emptied the crisp packet bin, and we ‘guesstimate’ we have sent off over 1000 crisp packets for recycling. Thanks to everyone who has brought in their hard-to-recycle waste so far. We are continuing to collect these items, so please do bring them in; the collection bins can be found between ICT and Geography, near Bedales Reception.

The Sustainability Action Group has also been considering the impact of vehicles on the environment. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2018. They consume almost a quarter more fuel and emit more CO2 due to being bigger, heavier and having poor aerodynamics. If SUVs were a country, they’d be the sixth largest emitter of CO2. Around 40,000 people die prematurely in the UK every year due to poor air quality.