An introduction to the Green Committee
After noticing a buzz around the school and the introduction of reusable coffee cups and coloured recycling bins, we met with Katy Scott to find out more about the Green Committee.
When was the Green Committee established and what is its purpose?
The Green Committee started this autumn term as a reincarnation of previous committees which had fizzled out over the years. I decided that it was time to try to make a change and so we got it on its feet again.
How many people are part of the committee?
Each boarding house has one to two representatives: these are creative, passionate pupils who have been utterly impressive in their drive and determination to make this a greener site. We also have some interested and passionate staff, including, Mike Kearney, Mike Thorne, Chris Mills, Nick Welford, Michael McGovern and Cafe Manager, Christina Moreby.
What are the main projects on the go at the moment?
After launching the committee with a fabulous Green Committee assembly, we introduced new multi-recycling bins in all of the houses. Since then, recycling has gone up and general waste gone down.
At present it is 'Switch Off Fortnight'. We are trying to raise awareness of energy wastage and have initiatives in-house and throughout the school to see how much energy we can save this fortnight as a way of raising awareness of how easy it is. We have winners/sinners lists in houses daily and the Green Committee are being active in monitoring energy wastage across the site and leaving notes for those who could be making more of a difference.
I have already been working with Chris in the Cafe and we have introduced reusable coffee cups and water bottles to buy. She has also worked hard to eliminate straws and any cups which cannot biodegrade in landfill. She is amazing! Mike Thorne has also abolished the use of plastic cutlery across the site!
Has there been an impact on your efforts so far?
At the start of the year the school was already in a good place. We already recycled as much as possible, including most of our food waste. However, only 36% of general waste was being recycled and our aim was to increase that and get more into recycling bins rather than normal bins. Nearly 70% of what was being put into our general rubbish bins could have been recycled. Cardboard and Amazon boxes made up a huge portion of our waste too.
Future plans and goals?
We are getting there slowly. Our aims for this year are to increase the number of multi-aperture bins across this site to encourage more recycling. We are also looking at, along with the amazing Assistant Domestic Bursar, Cyril, introducing more water fountains and bottle filling stations to help reduce the use of plastic bottles. After Christmas, we will be also be having a 'waste week' where we will be focussing on recycling and food waste.