I am a sixth form student at Paddington Academy, doing a week’s work experience with Green Schools Project. Through this chance, I was able to gain an insight into how this not-for-profit organisation runs and helps the community, schools and environment.
As a child myself, I have vaguely known that climate change exists and the negative impacts it has on the environment, however I never fully assessed that it was a big enough issue to tackle. Like most, I thought it would eventually reduce itself into nothing. Now I no longer have the same perspective.
Working alongside Green Schools Project opened my eyes to the true disruption and chaos it has been causing to others, and the increasing number of health problems. From heatwaves to bursts of freezing wind, it was shocking to find out that many of us do not accept that this is the result of climate change and are doing nothing to prevent it.
During the week, I took over Green School Project’s social media, becoming aware of the actions of the younger generation, who have already had strikes to raise this issue to the government. It was amazing to see children becoming the adults we need and taking their future into their own hands.
Yet those in power are letting us down. Due to the school strikes, MPs were pushed for a debate on climate change, but instead it was full of empty government benches and considered unimportant. This proves that the environment has never been a priority and in 10 years’ time, it may be too late to reverse the damage. That doesn’t stop these students from fighting for change. Children of all ages were absent from school because they want their voices to be heard, and will set out to strike again on 15th March, to rally about climate change.
But what should adults do? I put up posts on twitter about the high pollution alerts to persuade people that climate change will only worsen. Yet I don’t think this is enough for me. I feel like I have been robbed of my opportunity to learn about the environment and play my part in protecting it. Neither do I want any other child to feel the same.
Green Schools Project provides support and resources to primary and secondary schools to ensure that all children can gain an understanding of the threats we face and have a chance to make a difference by leading environmental projects.
Although many schools have registered an interest in this, some do not have the funding to cover the costs, but Green Schools Project don’t let that become a barrier to the programme. They are involving local corporations to help their community by sponsoring their local school and supporting them to go green, creating a partnership for a safer community.
One of my tasks this week was to source companies close to schools who have expressed an interest in the programme, but that needed financial support. I made a list of possible companies that could provide this support and sent them emails to ask for their help. Although some did not respond, others were interested in helping a local school to improve their environmental education provisioning and run green projects.
If every child was knowledgeable in the environmental sector and made small changes like waste management and energy reduction, they wouldn’t have to worry about a harmful future. As a result, I would urge every school to provide this environmental education, to benefit the students, communities and themselves. It is inspiring that this is all due to one maths teacher, who is passionate about the environment and saw the potential in young children.
I fully support Green Schools Project and believe that they could help to make a cleaner, safe environment for everyone.
Written by Bushra, Year 12 Student, Paddington Academy.