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Recycling Venture Leads To Bumper Crops

Posted 20/06/2012

Children at St George's School, in Edgbaston, have made use of over fifteen hundred empty plastic drinks bottles as part of an eco-project, which has helped the school earn a Bronze Award in the Eco-Schools international programme. Eco-Schools is one of five environmental education programmes run globally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

The Eco-Schools programme in England is run by 'Keep Britain Tidy. The programme helps schools embark on a sustainable journey, providing a framework to help them embed environmental principles into the heart of school life. There are 46 countries around the world that run the Eco-Schools programme.

St George's School formed an eco-group three years ago, under the guidance of Dr Jane Thomas, Head of Science at the Upper School. Over the past year groups of pupils and staff have been involved in constructing a greenhouse from 2 litre plastic bottles. One such construction featured in the Chelsea flower show in 2010. The bottles were washed by students at the school, the labels removed and the bottom of each bottle was cut off. They were then threaded on to bamboo canes and the canes were arranged side by side to form walls. The construction and completion of the greenhouse was a tribute to the very many pupils and staff who recycled their empty bottles, bringing them into the school to support the initiative.

Now that the greenhouse is completed the students are successfully growing tomatoes and other vegetables, making sure they are watered and the temperature is suitable to encourage healthy growth of their crops. This means the students are now also learning additional skills about planting seeds, germination, care and cultivation. They hope to soon be able to eat the produce they have so carefully housed and nurtured.

Children are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they lead the eco-committee and help carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of their school.

Callum Berry, a year 8 student who was involved with the eco project at St George's says "We all worked really hard to create the greenhouse and when it was finished it was even more amazing than we had imagined it would be."