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Welcome to Craven DEC's 8th Green Futures Eco-Schools Newsletter.  We are working with secondary schools to help them on their journey to become Eco-Schools as part of the Green Futures project which is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund through the Our Bright Future programme. Please do forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who may also be interested in environmental and Eco-Schools news, they can subscribe by emailing

If you haven’t already, do get your Eco students to check out the new Eco-Schools website --- it has been redesigned for secondary school students --
The steps and criteria for Green Flag have changed, so please do have a good look to keep yourselves on track.  One small change I noted was having selfies (or drawings) of all Eco-club members on your Eco-board!
The Question and Answer section is very useful for ensuring that you stay focused on the right actions to achieve the awards.  There is still limited information on good practice and case studies from other areas, so do please share what you have been doing with Eco-Schools.

Focus on Eco-School theme: Energy

Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change accounting for 60% of total greenhouse gases emissions.  Global Goal 7 focuses on access to affordable and clean energy and the worlds largest lessons includes a lot of lesson plans on energy.  Almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, as wind turbines and solar panels helped achieve a quarterly record for green energy.  More lessons on renewable energy can be found on Solar for Schools.

Practical Acton have a new resource  to design and build a simple wind powered machine that can lift a cup off the floor.  Introduce the challenge  by explaining that access to energy is an important factor in helping lift people out of poverty. Over 1/3 of the world’s population have no access to electricity. In small groups ask pupils to write down all the things they use electricity for in a typical day. Show the video on the website then discuss if it ‘brings to light’ (apologies for the pun!) anything they hadn’t though of.  
Take Action
Over 1,800 Eco-Schools took part in Switch Off Fortnight in November last year, some schools who took part managed to reduce their energy consumption by up to 70%, with the median energy saving of all schools who told us about their savings - being 10%.  Switch Off Fortnight ideas and resources 

Visit CAT is an education and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. CAT cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing. CAT has the largest range of installed renewable systems anywhere.  Contact Gabrielle Ashton on 01654 705983 for further information about the bursary for school visits. 

Find out more about fossil fuel divestment. So far due to student pressure 69 UK universities and 2 Irish have committed to divest from fossil fuels in some form (divest = not putting money into firms that profit from fossil fuels - could be pensions or shares or other investments) . These commitment cover endowment wealth of over £11bn. Globally $6trillion has been committed to divest from fossil fuel companies with over 700 institutions pulling their money out.  Students can research ethical banking  via Ethical consumer magazine.

Please note previous enews have featured  - Water, Litter, School Grounds, Biodiversity (Bees), and Waste.  Copies can be found on Craven DEC's website
Recycling in School 

TerraCycle® and Walkers® have partnered to create a free recycling scheme which accepts all crisp packets.

You can drop-off your used crisp packets at public drop-off locations across the UK and Ireland, why not set one up today? 

So they can recycle this waste properly - and in common with other household recycling - they would ask you to properly empty your packaging before placing them in a box. Tape the box together securely ensuring there are no loose edges or corners. Print your label and attach it securely to the shipment.

Settle College are recycling pens though the TerraCycle scheme (this is currently closed to new areas).  Other free recycling options include Pringle Cans, Garnier Beatty and Colgate products.
Funding updates

Free Trees for schools: The Woodland trust applications for tree packs for schools and community groups  for November 2019 delivery went live on 7 January 2019.  You can apply more than once.  

Youth Environment Action Fund (YEAF) - Our very own Green Futures fund for young people. Recent YEAF funding includes; gardening equipment and seeds, plastic recycling containers, bike racks and more gardening tools - what eco activities or campaigns could you do with extra funding for?  Please email with your ideas. Upcoming Deadline: 1 April, 4 June 2019
Environmental grants from Neighbourly They are partnering with a national retailer on a 12-month environmentally-themed programme which will provide a grant fund to over 400 good causes across the UK. Please submit your expression of interest for an £800 grant to undertake an environmental clean-up project in your local community. You should be able to briefly tell them at the end of the year what you've achieved.

Diary Dates!

14 Feb  Valentine’s Day, green hearts will pop up across the country to #ShowTheLove for all the things we want to protect from climate change.

3 March World Wildlife Day 2019 focuses on marine species for the first time and links with Global Goal 14 Life below water

25 Feb to 10 March Fairtrade Fortnight  She Deserves A Living Income Schools action pack focusing on women cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. Secondary schools resources look at living income as a human right, what this means and how we can work towards it becoming a reality for everybody. We’ll be looking at some of the impacts associated with not getting a living income, like child labour, the unsustainable use of natural resources and the marginalisation of women. 

8-17 March British Science  The Secondary school pack  Includes lots of ideas and activities on the theme of journey including Plastic – journey to the ocean, an investigation that tests the prediction that micro-fibres of plastic get into the water when synthetic clothes are washed.

22 March – 23 April Great British Spring Clean 2019  stand together and declare that single-use plastic litter – which degrades the beauty of our environment and threatens to harm wildlife – is not acceptable.

30 March, millions of people across the world will be turning out their lights to celebrate WWF'S Earth Hour

7-15 April Big Spring Beach Clean  With over a quarter of a billion metric tons of plastic pollution floating in our oceans and over 5,000 items of litter on every mile of the UK’s coast the time to act is now to reduce and wash away our collective ‘plastic footprint’ from our beaches.

22-28 April Fashion Revolution Week , On the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.  Add a challenging poster and facts to your Eco-board - Did you know that one T-shirt takes as much water to make as most people drink in 3 years!   Craven DEC do have a workshop/assembly on Fast Fashion that they can deliver for you in this week. 

28 May is Period Day, or Menstrual Hygiene Day - an opportunity to explore gender inequality, menstrual hygiene management and issues around water and toilets with your students.

5 June World Environment Day 

8 June World Oceans Day

17-23 June  Refugee Week 2019, ‘You, me and those who came before’, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations..   Events in refugee week fit under the Global Dimension  Eco-Schools topic. A further environmental focus could be  the link between climate change and refugees.   

Green Futures staff can help plan lessons, activities or actions for any of the above days, please email if interested.   

This year’s World’s Largest Lesson  is all about action!  Young people taking action within their schools, and communities to make a positive impact on the environmental.   Inspire your Eco-Committee with two young environmentalists who are on The TIME's 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018: 

Melati and Isabel Wijsen were swimming in the waters of Bali when they noticed something that didn’t belong: floating plastic bags. And so in 2013, at ages 12 and 10, the sisters from Indonesia launched Bye Bye Plastic Bags to raise awareness about the issue. Their profile has risen considerably since then. This year, they organized Bali’s Biggest Clean-up, with 20,000 people collecting 65 tons of waste; they also helped get 350 local businesses to commit to eliminating the use of everyday plastic products like cups and straws within the next two years. 

Before Sweden’s general elections in September, Greta Thunberg went on a three-week strike from school in an effort to urge her government to act on climate change.  Since then, Thunberg has inspired hundreds of similar school strikes around the world, including a mass school walkout in Australia. She plans to strike every Friday until Sweden is aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change; while the Scandinavian country is one of only a handful in Europe actively pursuing policies to meet the climate goals, Thunberg says it is not enough. In October, she took her message to a crowd of more than 10,000 at a climate change demonstration in Helsinki. “Instead of worrying about the future, you should try to change it while you still can.” 

New Resources

BBC's Climate change food calculator: What's your diet's carbon footprint? Find out the climate impact of what you eat and drink here

The new Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme works with schools around the world to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to thrive. The aim of CCGL is to equip pupils in both the UK and developing countries with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live and work in a global economy and to take action on global issues. 

Connecting Classrooms is a flexible journey for schools around the world of learning, knowledge sharing and international collaboration. It entails the following:

1. Partner with schools – collaborate with peers in the UK and other countries on school activities focusing on global themes. Partnerships offer teachers the chance to share experiences and learn from each other.

2. Develop your skills – available online and face-to-face training courses

3. Classroom activities – complete activities with partner schools based on the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). Download one of their free resources to start embedding the principles and themes of the Global Goals in your classroom.

4. Apply for funding – as a cluster of schools or one-to-one school partnership, you can apply for funding to facilitate visits, events and training as part of the Connecting Classrooms journey.

Schools are also invited to make use of the many classroom resources, free online training courses and other opportunities to partner with overseas schools with and through a range of other organisations.  Liz Roodhouse, Craven DEC is the Local Adviser for the programme, please email to find out more

The resources fit well with Eco-School themes - including  Our Commonwealth Ocean  Global Food Security: How can we feed a growing populationHow can we reduce waste in our community?

The UK government has declared 2019, a Year of Green Action, a year-long drive to see more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to improve the natural world.

The #iwill4nature initiative aims to embed social action into the lives of 10-18 year olds.  Over 50 young people from around the UK have today been announced as environment ambassadors. The inspiring group, which includes two teenage sisters who founded Kids Against Plastic  (the key note speakers from our 2017 Eco-Schools conference) to cut the single-use packaging, will encourage more young people to get involved in green projects through their school, youth group or local community. 

Joining 15-year-old Amy Meek and her 13-year-old sister Ella from Kids Against Plastic, is Emily McDonald. The 18-year-old has been made an ambassador after she founded a Bio-Eco Society at her school, bringing together peers to take positive action against climate change.

School News

The 3rd annual Green Futures Youth Environment Summit took place at Malham Tarn Field Centre, following months of hard work and planning by a group of passionate young people from across the region, including eco-school committee members.  Practical sessions, many delivered by the young people themselves, included making hedgehog ramps and a bee hotel, orienteering, and creating new useful products from items otherwise destined for landfill,including juice carton wallets and t-shirt bags. Thanks to a session run by Campaign Bootcamp, the young people also developed their confidence and campaigning skills, from planning,researching and organising a new campaign through to gaining support to create a lasting impact.  We would love to hear from young people interested in being involved. A Youth Environment Forum meeting will take place in Settle in January 2019 – it’s a chance to meet like-minded young people who come together throughout the year to deliver practical action and develop campaign ideas, as well as helping to deliver the annual Youth Environment Summit in 2019.  Email for more information

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