Sustainability Week

Sustainability Week
This month saw KEHS students throwing themselves into a series of challenges during our Remote Sustainability Week. The initiative was designed and hosted by members of the Sixth Form Sustainability Society with a focus on living in a more sustainable way. The society is currently planning to build on this initiative..

This month saw KEHS students throwing themselves into a series of challenges during our Remote Sustainability Week. The initiative was designed and hosted by members of the Sixth Form Sustainability Society with a focus on living in a more sustainable way. The society is currently planning to build on this initiative by running a Lower School Sustainability Day. Do read on to get a flavour of the many wonderful highlights of the week

Vegan Recipes

One of the bigger challenges we tasked everyone with, was having a go at some vegan and vegetarian cooking and baking. After issuing a recommended vegan shopping list, it was very exciting to see so many students and staff getting involved and sharing pictures and recipes of their meals and treats. Vegan spaghetti bolognese, cookies, cinnamon rolls and quesadillas were a few of the recipes showcased across the week. This was followed by a highly stimulating joint KEHS/KES debate that took place earlier this week on ‘This House would only serve vegan items’


Bulbs, Plants & Gardening

As part of the week, we were challenged to do some gardening. “By growing my own produce, I helped cut down on carbon emissions that would have otherwise been produced if I had travelled to buy the same products. I also reduced plastic waste used in packaging and decreased the use of pesticides that would have contributed to the further endangerment of favourable insects like bees. Going outside in the fresh air to enjoy mother nature after a long day spent inside is definitely one of my highlights, and is an easy activity I’d highly recommend to anyone, no matter how green your finger is”.


Ecosia and Eco Fonts

Another challenge was to downloadthe search engine Ecosia. Every online activity comes with an environmental cost. Although the energy needed for a single internet search or email is small, about 4.1 billion people now use the internet, meaning that these scraps of energy and their associated greenhouse gas emissions add up. By using Ecosia you help reverse the worst effects of climate change for free. Ecosia uses its advertising revenue to plant trees; over 118 million so far! “It’s been a really rewarding experience seeing how many trees my searches have funded, and it’s such an easy way to make a difference”.

We also had the task of downloading some eco fonts which contain tiny holes or lines that are invisible after printing. Eco fonts can reduce your ink consumption by up to 20%. About 1 million printing ink cartridges are thrown away every day. These can take thousands of years to decompose and they pollute soil and water with harmful chemicals. “Overall, I’ve found that I can barely notice a difference and saving ink is so worthwhile since it not only saves money but also helps the environment”.


Cycle or Walk Challenge

“On Friday, I was able to get out on my bike rather than travel in the car. Cycling and walking are more environmentally friendly and healthier options. Being fortunate to live close to school, I’ve found that walking or cycling significantly improves my mood in the morning and mentally prepares me to face the day, not to mention it’s also a nice way to de-stress after school, especially if you get to catch up with a friend heading the same direction on the way home. We’re all aware of the obvious benefits so the next time you get a chance to go somewhere within cycling or walking distance, take a family member, a friend or the dog with you or go by yourself and enjoy the fresh air”.


Film & Book Review

As part of the week, we were treated to a very extensive sustainable resources list collated by our Librarian, Mr Rodgers, as well as a film each day recommended by the Sustainability Team. “This week I was able to pick up ‘No one is too small to make a difference’ by Greta Thunberg which was recommended by Mr Rodgers. It is a small book but that does not mean we should underestimate its ability to make a difference. It was very inspirational and truly moving read. I was also able to find some spare time to watch ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix. This film documentary was extremely eye-opening and has really inspired me to make some significant lifestyle changes to help be more sustainable. The films and books have given everyone an opportunity to become more educated on our current crisis”.


Jumpers On, Lights off!

On Tuesday, we were challenged to turn our lights off for the school day and if possible turn our heating off. “I decided to take on both challenges and I found from my experience that I was much more comfortable at a cooler temperature with an extra layer than at a hotter one with just one layer. Layers are warm and snug! I also found that I could easily reduce them if I got too warm, whereas it was not so convenient when my house temperature was high. By reducing my thermostat setting by just 1 degree, I saved about 1,530kWh of heating energy which saved 320kg of CO2! I also was able to keep my lights off for the day and it definitely was not difficult. By turning off unnecessary lights, 171kg of CO2 emissions can be removed per year. At night in my house, we like to switch off all the lights too. For those of you who keep some lights on, try to use efficient light bulbs”.


Sustainability Articles

Throughout Sustainability Week, many articles were sent out highlighting the importance of protecting our environment. They enlightened us as to what we can do to make a positive impact, both socially and environmentally in the world. For example, combating fast fashion by shopping at more sustainable brands and reducing our carbon footprint by turning off lights when their use isn’t of necessity. Additionally, learning about the amazing impacts of reforestation, correct waste disposal and recycling were all highly insightful and important. The takeaway message was to be the change you want to see and that every little helps, even if you don’t realise it. So, go outdoors and plant some trees and show the Earth some much needed love! If we take care of our planet, it will take care of us and all its other inhabitants too.


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