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Oakham: Oakham School pupils take on Climate Change with 30-day sustainability challenge

By Evie Payne

7th Dec 2021 | Local News

Oakham School Pupils showing how they can be more sustainable
Oakham School Pupils showing how they can be more sustainable

In a bid to play their part in tackling climate change, pupils at Oakham School are taking part in a 30-day challenge that will help the environment.

Upper School pupils have been inspired by the COP26 summit which prompted this sustainability challenge. It will see each student renounce an everyday habit and change a behaviour which may currently contribute towards global warming.

Some of the pledges include only buying second-hand clothes, giving up meat and dairy, going plastic free and using reusable coffee cups.

The pupils' aim is to take on the challenge and be the change they want to see in the world, with the hopes that they will continue these new habits beyond the 30 days.

Head of Upper School, Megan Fairley, said: "This is a very timely challenge with COP26 and we want to inspire a change in our pupils by getting them to think about their carbon footprint and how their lifestyles can impact the world.

"Young people play a significant role in the future of our planet and we hope that this challenge will allow them to make changes to become more sustainable in their everyday lives. We hope that they will keep these up long after the 30 days is up."

The pupils will not only learn about how changing something in their daily lives can help the environment, but will also review how wider behavioural changes of people across the world can really help to make a difference.

Pupils are working together and sharing their pledges with the Geography Department at the School, who are posting regularly about the challenge on Twitter.

Form 6 pupil James, who is also part of a UK-German youth group on climate change, added: "The project is a challenge where everyone is encouraged to participate, and not just simply choose something easy, but to make a real change to their lifestyle.

"This is important to me because I believe that this COP will mark the starting point of people taking this issue seriously, and actually bring about change that will help us keep below the 1.5-degree rise. I also hope that it will start to encourage more pupils and young people to try and act more sustainably, instead of saying they cannot do anything, for longer than 30 days."

James has opted to buy second-hand items, such as electronics, for his challenge and has also been following COP26 in English, French and German to help see how the summit is viewed in different countries.

His advice to pupils taking part in the challenge is to change something that's not too radical or difficult so that they can try to keep this up after the 30 days is complete.

Form 7 pupil Grace added: "My 30-day commitments are to walk to School each day and use reusable carrier bags rather than plastic ones.

"This challenge is important as it is increasingly apparent that more needs to be done to protect the environment. Through engaging in this initiative, we as a School can be the drivers for positive change in our community which I find really rewarding.

"Whilst it may be difficult at first, I think the changes everyone adopts will become habit really quickly. I'll definitely keep this up after the 30 days - by participating I have become far more aware of how my actions impact the world around me."

Follow the links to find out more about Oakham School or Oakham Nub News. Do you or your local schools have any sustainability tips to add to the conversation? Join in the conversation on our Twitter or by clicking the 'Nub It' link on our website.

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