Eco Week at Sydenham High School

From Monday 25 until Friday 29 November we marked ‘Eco Week’ at Sydenham High School.  Pupils from Reception to year 13 have participated in a range of activities designed to help them consider individual and collective environmental responsibility.

At Prep, the week started on Monday with an insightful assembly by pupils in Eco Club.  Following this, pupils participated in a range of activities during the week including tree planting, autumn vegetable planting, environmentally inspired art activities and talks.  Pupils also created a tree of promises which stands by the entrance to the Prep School Hall.  Thank you to all parents who have supported us with activities.

At Senior School, pupils learnt all about ‘earth overshoot’ day, which marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (fish and forests, for instance) and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year, and it is getting earlier each year. An interesting fact was that London’s ecological footprint is 293 times its size and 42 times its biocapacity (the capacity of an area to generate an on-going supply of renewable resources and to absorb its spillover wastes). There was a lunchtime film screening of a talk given by John Francis on how we are to ‘Walk this Earth’, sharing the message of environmental respect and responsibility, and in form time pupils learnt about the impact of cosmetics on the earth, particularly through the use of palm oil, and how we can save the planet one mascara wand at a time! Please bring clean, empty mascara wands to the humanities office and we will send them to help orphaned animals. Pupils also thought about the importance of local action and supporting local business and the week culminated in a pledge making day where staff and pupils detailed what they will do to reduce their eco-footprint and push earth overshoot day back! There is a social media campaign #movethedate, and we encourage everyone to share their ideas. Some examples can be found here. Eco Club gave a fantastic assembly on Fast Fashion, telling us how much water it takes to grow the cotton for our clothes and how important it is not to buy into the throw away culture of fast fashion and to think about using charity shops or clothes swaps – just like the one we will be hosting on Friday 6 December! During our own clothes day we also fundraised £324.62 (at the latest count!) for the Woodland Trust’s Every Tree Counts campaign.

It was a very engaging week and helped us to think of even more things that we are able to do as part of our whole school eco commitment. Huge thanks to our Eco warriors, Mr Welch and Mr Wagg for their organisation of the activities.

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