If you are looking for inspiration of how extensive sustainable activities at an IH local school can be, then there are lots of ideas in this article across many of the International House environmental citeria.
There was a summer camp in 2020 inspired by the themes of the UN Sustainability Goals. Lessons learnt from the “virtual” camp in 2020 will mean the real camp planned for 2021 will be even better!
Encouraging Sustainable Behaviour
Around the school there are notices and posters encouraging sustainable actions.
A whole project is targeted at encouraging young students to reuse, recycle and repurpose objects. A “tree” in reception will become a "Corner of recycling” where the recycled creations of students will be displayed.
Increasing Community Involvement
In 2017, two teachers from IH Team Lingue Merate helped the local community in a small town severally damaged by a devastating earthquake and landslide. This project, launched by Aisli, the Italian association of language schools, allowed teachers to help the locals by giving free English lessons to the students at primary schools.
In 2019, the young participants of the summer camps sold lemonade to their parents to raise as much money as possible to donate to the local kennel.
There are ambitious plans for 2021. The school is planning to organise some actions aimed to make the quality of the environment better. For example, inviting students and members of the school community to collect trash and plastic from the streets.
In its 2021 Summer Camps, the school plans to cooperate with local eco hostel and invite the young volunteers who come from different European countries to join the summer camp, suggesting new recycling activities to the children.
In 2021, there are plans to organise an internal market, in which our students can sell products made with recycled materials. With the money raised trees will be bought to plant in the school garden.
In October 2020, the whole staff team at IH Team Lingue got involved in the schools’ “Green Project”. A coordinator has been given the responsibility to encourage all staff to put into practice the simple green actions which can help to reduce energy waste and promote sustainable behaviour, for example switching off the lights, and recycling waste.
Minimising the Carbon Emissions of Travel and Energy Supply
Partly as a result of lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic, smart working has been offered to staff, meaning they don’t always have to travel to the school premises. This means that needless commuting is avoided. Some meetings are now held online, and this will continue post pandemic.
When lessons return to face to face, a parental carpooling system is being planned.
The school has signed up to an Italian energy supplier who is committed to using renewable sources and engages in environmental projects (such as reforestation in Guatemala).
Reducing and Recycling
The school is trying to reduce all single use items, for example:
- Paper – teachers should print on both sides.
- Cutlery and crockery – only washable are available, not plastic disposable.
- Single use plastic cups – have been replaced by refillable bottles.
Photocopies are made with recycled paper, and cartridges are recycled. Waste plastic, aluminium, paper, glass, etc are sorted in separate bins before collection.
Congratulations to the team at Merate, Como and Lecco for all these initiatives, and making even more of an impact in 2021.