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Meet the Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative at Lipson Community College!

The Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative at Lipson

Students at Lipson Community College, Plymouth, Devon, have set up a Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative. They explain what they are up to:

The Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative at Lipson organised a litter pick.

Our Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative allows us as pupils to look at becoming more sustainable and it attempts to inspire us to become green pioneers.

Whilst being part of the Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative our school has completed a litter pick through the school campus and the local community. We have also replanted a raised flower bed within the school courtyard and created an energy saving plan with posters to go through the school.

Our energy saving plan looked at the simple things we could do around the school to save energy and money. We were inspired by a trip to ‘The Eden Project’, where simple steps to making a massive difference are promoted. Things like when the heating is on shut the windows or when you are not in a room turn off the lights etc.

We chose to make our energy saving plan three-fold through the development of a Facebook page, campaign posters to serve as daily reminders around the school and a series of tutorial sessions focusing on peer education.

Posters produced by the Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative at Lipson

The template of the posters followed the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ format as they recently have been in fashion, so would be relevant to people. It also meant that the information could be kept down to a catchphrase. This shows the value of self-responsibility as we were taking responsibility for our actions.

We have also created a Facebook page to try and influence the wider community through the media; this is a very good way of keeping track of who has become interested by the cause, by looking at the increasing numbers of people who liked the page. It also shows how much attention a cause can get from making a Facebook page. Our page is entitled ‘Think today with tomorrow in mind’. We regularly update the page with quotes that stimulate reflective thought; hints and tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment; and any other information we feel that is pertinent to supporting protecting the environment. We believe that this page enables people to help themselves in taking steps to making a difference, whilst promoting the fact that we are all in this together. It is down to everyone to try to make a difference to the environment.

We have looked at the Co-operative's Plan Bee and the depleting bee population. In order to support this cause, we developed a flowerbed scheme that included running tutorials around the school focusing on the necessity of bees. As a team, we replanted a raised bed within the centre courtyard of our school that has plants that are known to attract bees. Solidarity played a main part in this task as we all had to work together to reach a common goal of the replanting of the flower bed within a time frame.The flower bed was significant not because it was a centre piece in the courtyard but because it enforces the co-operative values and colours. As our school has recently become a co-operative, the school logo has become more colourful just like the new flowerbed. It also incorporates the co-operative values as we all had to work together, equally and co-operatively. The flowerbed is also designed to celebrate friends of Lipson, past, present and future – it is important to us as a school that each member is valued as a member of the Lipson family.

The Green Schools Revolution Young Co-operative at Lipson's Facebook page.

As part of Green Schools Revolution Week we organised a number of tutorial activities across the college that focused on peer educating about climate change. These culminated in a litter pick that we organised for the community. We invited local community groups, primary schools and our PCSO to join us and we covered a large section of our local area, thus having a positive impact on our local community and the environment. During the litter pick the co-operative values that were used were solidarity (working together to reach a common goal) as we all worked together to clean up our local community and equality (treating everyone with the same respect). As we all were given the same equipment and did the same jobs nobody was left to feel silly. Overall we collected around 85kg of rubbish and we have seen the effects of the litter pick continue – there has been a reduction in litter in the area and people are being far more conscientious. We are now looking into more litter bins in the area, and to make litter picks a regular occurrence.

As a Green Schools Young Co-operative we are planning for future events promoting the co-operative values and supporting the environment. Being a part of this co-operative has been incredibly fulfilling and is brilliant to see the impact that we have been having. Classrooms are using less energy as not all lights are being used, windows are shut when the heating is on, requests are coming in for more flowerbeds – we are taking small steps but the impact will be long-lasting. We also hope that we have succeeded in getting people within the community to change their habits – particularly as our Facebook page increases in ‘likes’.

Lipson Community College’s Green Schools Young Co-operative