Schools & the Environment: the benefits of ‘going green’

Have you been told that you should cut your carbon emissions? Be more eco-friendly? Consider the environment? It’s not just companies that are expected to have an awareness of the impact they have on the environment, schools are increasingly under the spotlight too.

Schools aren’t cheap to run. If your building is old, it will likely cost far more to heat. Then there’s the daily use of the classroom to consider as well as the running of school buses if your pupils are from a wider catchment area.

Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to cost the earth.

hiresIt’s widely thought that being environmentally conscious involves spending money on carbon curbing measures, installing solar panels and investing in costly energy saving technology. In fact, what it can mean for schools is simply cutting back. Being greener doesn’t mean being poorer.

If you reduce the amount of resources you consume and act responsibly with what you do use, you can greatly reduce the impact you have on the environment. If you consider the costs involved in running a school, thinking ‘green’ could mean saving money too.

According to Eco-Schools, “schools in the UK spend approximately £100m on electricity; £106m on water; £39m on cleaning up litter and preventing vandalism; £56m on emptying bins; and £150m on paper and school stationery every year.” So, cutting back really can mean cutting costs.

What’s in it for you?

As well as saving money, being environmentally conscious in schools can extend beyond simple actions; it becomes part of the broader learning structure too. Teaching children about recycling, switching off lights and reducing waste can have a significant impact on them at home as well as at school.

You can get money too. Funding environmental projects is a trend among UK Trusts and Foundations and that isn’t likely to change for a while. Numerous grants are available to schools that wish to run environmental projects from Trusts such as Ernest Cook and Naturesave. Money can also be made from recycling with many companies offering cash in return for goods such as Bag2School and RecyCool. Schools should take advantage of these opportunities while they can!

Where do you start?

Small changes can have a big impact. Recycling, switching off lights, only using the water you need, reducing the amount you print and closing doors and windows are all little things that add up.

Consider running a small environmental project within the school and apply for a grant to run it. Ernest Cook Trust is one of the UK’s most popular funders of environmental projects. They give grants to schools who want to get more young people involved in environmental activities.

There are also free resources available to get you where you need to be. Green Hero is a great example. They offer free resources to primary schools to help them teach environmental education and sustainability.

Pebble’s position

We’re all being asked to do our bit and at Pebble, we’re leading by example. In our office in Newcastle, we’re committed to reducing the amount of energy we use and the waste we produce. We’re so committed that we’ve even put our Environmental Policy on our website for the world to see! We’re making it part of our company culture, being environmentally conscious and thinking about the environmental impact of our actions.

We started by making small changes. So can you.

If your school would like to know how you can generate more income, save money in the long term and access funds for environmental projects, get in touch! Pebble provides tools and advice to schools and academies that helps them do just that.


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