Congratulations to students and teachers of Every Child Counts School who, since September 2013, have been working towards making their school more eco-friendly. They were interested in acquiring the ‘Green Flag’ certification and the entire secondary section of the school participated.
An executive ’Go Green’ committee comprised of senior students Larnard Bain, Alicia Adderley, Leonardo Lowe, Anastacia Sawyer and Keith Clarke, guided by their science teacher, Ms. Ellen Hardy, formed an action plan. By May 2014 so many environmentally friendly changes had taken place at the school that they felt they were ready for inspection by the ‘Green Flag’ committee.
Eight inspectors, which included representatives from the Bahamas National Trust and BREEF in Nassau and Friends of the Environment, Abaco, gave their seal of approval to the work done by the school and approved them for the prestigious Green Flag classification.
The action plan covered waste, energy, biodiversity, water and healthy snacks and was aimed at not only beautifying the premises and going green but saving money in the process.
This was the largest department and covered litter, recycling of paper, cans and bottles and composting. Tins were placed in each class to collect food for compost and boxes were placed in each class to collect used paper for sorting. Any paper only used on one side was re-used in printers and photocopiers and the rest was shredded and used by the farming class to help maintain water in the soil. Plastic ‘Thank you’ bags were collected and woven by Ms. Rhonda’s class into attractive tote bags and pallets were used to make excellent shelves and tables.
All invasive trees were tagged and removed but the students are still working on trying to eradicate the Brazilian pepper which presently has them stumped. New native trees have been planted in place of the invasive species.
Each class was informed to turn off fans and lights when not in use and notices were placed by the switches as reminders. More classes are being held outside and all of this has reduced the BEC bill by considerably more than the 10% expectancy.
All leaky taps, toilets and hoses were fixed and rocks placed in the toilet tanks to reduce water usage. Also locks were put on taps on the perimeter of the premises to stop the public taking water after school hours and also leaving taps running which was costing the school a lot of money. This has reduced the water bill enormously.
In order to enforce zero tolerance of litter classes do a community walk once a day to pick up litter both in the community and on-campus. Aluminum cans are recycled to decorate the walls of the garbage shed. Any student seen picking up litter on the campus is awarded with a coupon for a free snack.
No sugar or salt is allowed on-campus and no junk food. Healthy alternatives are offered by Mrs. Oliver and students.
“This has been a lot of work to reach the standards necessary for Green Flag certification but well worth it,” stated Ms. Hardy proudly. She and two of the students are looking forward to travelling to Nassau in September to receive the Green Flag award. The committee members are all very excited at what has been achieved and the efforts will be ongoing in order to maintain the school’s eco-friendly campus.
Their ECC ECO code states:
Eco plan is the way to go.
Always pick up litter.
Reduce, re-use, recycle.
Turn off lights and fans.
Healthy Snacks Always