It seems highly appropriate to be writing about the Lambrook Eco-Team on June 5th 2019 – World Environment Day. Since the Eco-Team was established in January, its members have been busily making changes around the school, identifying areas for further change and hoping that their enthusiasm for all things ‘green’ will rub off on those around them.
Children from across the school put themselves forward to join the Eco Team and, from the outset, I have been so impressed with their energy, enthusiasm and determination. We set our very first target at the inaugural meeting and it was quickly met; the school no longer supplies plastic water bottles or disposable drink cartons on school trips, thereby reducing a huge amount of unnecessary waste on an annual basis. Further targets were set, including having a sturdy paper recycling bin in every classroom and office in the school. Our paper recycling is now collected on a fortnightly basis and I am hopeful that the new bins will last for several years. By the end of term, the Art and DT rooms, the boys’ and girl’s boarding houses and the staff common room will also have facilities for plastic, metal and glass recycling. Members of the Eco-Team will be coordinating recycling at Lamfest, hoping to make this fantastic event as environmentally friendly as possible. The school has just signed up to the Terra Cycle scheme, meaning that, from September, we will be able to recycle pens, highlighters and marker pens, as well as toothpaste, tooth brushes and electric toothbrush heads in the boarding houses.
While reducing waste at school itself is hugely important, we would love to see Lambrook pupils flying the flag for ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ outside school too. Waitrose recently became the first national supermarket chain to trial ‘waste free’ shopping ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-48501154/waitrose-pilot-aims-to-cut-use-of-plastic ) but for those families living in Maidenhead and Windsor, there are other local options. Plastic Free Maidenhead has a highly informative Facebook page which not only lists ‘waste free’ shopping in the Maidenhead area, but also provides local people with information about environmental initiatives in the area. Meanwhile, over in Windsor, Zero Joe’s will be opening on the 22nd June in St Leonard’s Road, selling a range of household products from food staples to cleaning products, all with zero packaging. The Eco Team will be launching a summer challenge at the end of term and would love to see Lambrook families getting involved.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful (and extensive) school grounds. Another of the children’s targets involves planting more bee and butterfly friendly wildflowers around the grounds, ‘rewilding’ areas which are not used for games or PE, with Miss Turner’s support and guidance. The arrival of the Lambrook chickens caused huge excitement and the boarding team are hoping to take advantage of the abundant egg supply when boarders’ baking recommences in the Michaelmas Term. The children are also hopeful that they will be able to organise a sustainable way of collecting certain food waste, using a small area near the orchard for composting.
It feels as if the environmental movement is gaining real momentum at the moment, globally, nationally and here at Lambrook. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the members of staff and Lambrook families who have been so supportive and to say an especially huge thank you to the Eco Team members who are driving change in such a dynamic and joyful way. I cannot wait to hear about exciting changes at Lambrook in the years ahead; these children are our future politicians, scientists, product designers and environmental activists and I am confident that they are going to be unstoppable!
Cedar Tree Light box made by Farley (made from old bubble wrap and plastic bags)