Make the everyday running of your school more sustainable with these tips and resources.
See what schools in the district and beyond have been doing.
Facilities and Buildings
Ideas to improve your bills, wellbeing and carbon impact.
Waste & Recycling
Reduce, reuse and recycle with students and parents to save money and waste.
- 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.
Facilities and Buildings
- Policies and Approaches:
- Make a Sustainability Policy for your school’s students and staff to work towards
- How Green is Your School podcast is a very useful overview of the role of schools in environmental sustainability, and tips for where to begin, by Kate Mouncey (Associate Assistant Head Teacher & Director of Sixth Form at Sandringham School)
- Join the Let’s Go Zero campaign which unites and supports UK schools working together to be carbon zero by 2030 through providing support and advice on, for example, energy use, car-free school runs and plant-based canteens.
- Ecosia – why not switch your school search engines to default to this one that plants trees for every search made.
- 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. 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 email@example.com
- 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. For learning resources, see our Learn Page – Reducing Meat Consumption.
- 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.
- Greening and planting:
- Investigate funding for greenspaces for children
- 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
- With students:
- Talk about Climate change with students and teachers. We have plenty of resources in our Learn section
- Join The Pod, and interactive sustainability website with resources such as the ‘Switch On to Switching Off lesson plan’
- Wombles Campaigns: The Wombles were always ahead of their time, championing sustainability, a love of nature and the importance of community. Check out the Wombles Sustainability website to see how to get involved with any of their campaigns including: The Wombles Great British Spring Clean, The Wombles Meat Free Monday, The Wombles & National Tree Week.
- Sustainable St Albans Climate Champions are available to give talks in assembly or to Year groups. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- With Parents and PTA:
- Consider sharing these resources on ‘eco-friendly’ fundraising with your PTA
- Consider sharing our template PTA sustainability policy with your PTA
Waste and Recycling
- Reduce: Plastic:
- Reduce: Food Waste:
- Consider recipes to cut down on food waste: Food Waste Recipe Finder
- Share your school’s food waste via Olio
- Consider starting a compost bin
- Reuse, Upcycle and recycle your school uniform! Use this parent founded website or hold uniform sales with the PTA
- Promote sustainable period products for students and staff. Contact Wuka– a local business that produces sustainable period products and check out resources on Waste Aware, too.
- 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). If anyone is interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org.