Make the everyday running of your school more sustainable with these tips and resources.
School Culture and Policies
Ensure green thinking permeates everything your school does. Includes useful case studies.
Ideas to improve the carbon impact of your school’s energy usage – while also cutting your bills.
Make the most of the green space you have by boosting their value for nature and enhancing biodiversity.
Change the food you serve and grow at your school
Waste & Recycling
Reduce, reuse and recycle to save money and waste.
Thinking about how staff and students can better travel to school.
School Culture and Policies
At the foundation of any sustainable school is a culture of “eco” that permeates management, teaching, students and PTA.
- Create a staff member Sustainability Lead role. Consider the same for the governing body.
- Make a Sustainability Policy for your school’s students and staff to work towards
- Talk about Climate change with students and teachers. We have plenty of resources in our Educate Now section. Ensure it permeates the curriculum.
- Join in with local organisations and campaigns listed on our Join Now page, including our own Schools Networking Events and SustFest Schools Week.
- Book a visitor to your school. Sustainable St Albans Climate Champions are available to give talks in assembly or to Year groups. Contact email@example.com
- Use the Transform Our World Climate Action Planner tool which is designed to help everyone in the school community understand the issues surrounding the climate crisis and what they can do to take action to reduce your school’s carbon footprint.
- Set up a student eco group. Consider working towards an award such as a Green Flag Award from Eco Schools.
- Consider sharing these resources on ‘eco-friendly’ fundraising with your PTA
- Consider sharing our template PTA sustainability policy with your PTA
- Ecosia – why not switch your school search engines to default to this one that plants trees for every search made.
Useful Case Studies
- Crabtree Infants’ School’s journey to cutting single use plastic
- Using a Thermal Imaging Camera in school: Sandringham School’s activities with students
- A series of short videos from St Andrew’s Chedworth showing its progress towards becoming a net zero carbon primary school
- Discover how a Blackburn secondary school installed a heat pump under their playing field as part of its drive to net zero.
- Killigrew School’s Eco-group investigated the effect screens have on heat loss from their classrooms.
- The Meat-Free Monday campaign is becoming more popular with schools and a number have persuaded their catering companies in St Albans District to go meat-free on Mondays. This Meat-Free Monday presentation was put together by St Albans students to persuade their school to join.
Energy & Electricity
- Calculate your school’s Carbon footprint using online UK government resources
- Look at the Energy in Schools website: a helpful tool aid for schools to be more energy aware and reduce their energy, whilst giving the opportunity for pupils to use BBC micro:bit technology to solve problems.
- See where your school’s heat is escaping by borrowing a thermal imaging camera from Sustainable St Albans. Children love to use these too: see what Sandringham school and Killigrew School did when they borrowed one. Beaumont School used the camera to check their recently installed windows, and heat losses from other doors and windows. To borrow the Community Camera (available for week+ loans, for free) contact the Harpenden Camera Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Simple changes like switching off lights and turning off whiteboards can have a big impact across the whole school.
- Investigate funding for greenspaces for children
- Download the excellent Wilder St Albans Schools Information Pack for initiatives and plans on “Enhancing the wildlife value of school grounds and learning outside the classroom “
- Plant some trees! Free trees can be obtained via The Woodland Trust’s free trees for schools programme. Not possible? How about raising money for trees to be planted somewhere else? Try a non-uniform day for Just One Tree or a similar organisation.
- Attract bees and butterflies to your school. Seedball are offering schools 250 wildflower seedballs
- Encourage children to litter pick at school. Make it safe with gloves and child-sized picks.
- Enjoy this short video from the Ver Valley River Society about the invertebrate life in the River Ver which runs through St Albans
- Identify common British bird species and attract birds into your school grounds.
- Plant pollinator-friendly plants
- Further activities to attract wildlife into the garden
Food & Diet
- Join Meat Free Mondays and try their impact calculator, where you can find out your impact on animals, people and the planet by having meat-free days.
- Olio for Schools – help schools pass surplus food to those in need; also teaching resources and activities
- What is your schools milk solution? Still using individual cartons with plastic straws? Why not ask your milk provider to supply large cartons which you serve in cups? Read how one local school changed this.
Waste and Recycling
- Reduce: Plastic:
- Reduce: Food Waste:
- Separate your waste to ensure maximum recycling.
- Who is your waste contractor? Did you know that St Albans District Council will pick up dry recycling fortnightly and food waste weekly from schools for free? They will provide all the outside bins, too. Contact Louise Palmer at the council on 01727 819428 email@example.com.
- Use the Council’s Recycling Guide to see what they can and cannot collect
- Herts County Council has shared recycling resources including free assemblies and activities
- Consider hard to recycle items:
- Recycle your crisp packets
- Investigate TerraCycle’s hard to recycle solutions including crisp cans, makeup, stationery and more
- Herts Sustainable Periods – free reusable period product demonstration kit and training for teachers (how to use and clean the products, health and environmental benefits). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.