According to the UN Environment Programme -
“With young people driving a global wake-up call on climate change, it is no surprise to find schools and universities leading by example and reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy and becoming hotbeds of activism on the defining issue for a generation.”
There’s no doubt that Gen Z and Gen Alpha are highly engaged and inspired about proactively taking better care of the planet, for themselves, their children and their children’s children.
At the centre of this, Let’s Go Zero is a national campaign that’s spearheading and supporting activity across UK schools, with the end goal of zero carbon emissions in schools by 2030.
“Schools across the UK have thrown themselves behind a campaign declaring their aim to become zero carbon by 2030 – with more than 100 trailblazer schools signing up within less than a month of our launch last term,” Schools Manager Alex Green said.
“This gives the Let’s Go Zero campaign the voice of 57,214 students and 8,638 school staff – with many more to come.”
It’s an encouraging start. But, getting buy-in from your staff and students might be easier than getting an initial handle on your carbon situation, and how you can cut or eliminate carbon.
What are the Main Carbon Culprits in Schools?
Schools that have already signed up to Let’s Go Zero are focusing on seven key culprits are responsible for high carbon counts in schools -
- School grounds
Recycle Now narrows the criteria, claiming that –
“The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. The figure for primary schools is even higher at 45kg per pupil. Most of the waste by weight from schools comes from just two categories: paper and card, and food waste.”
What Steps Can You Take to Reduce Paper Waste?
The problem with paper waste in schools is that it’s not all generated by students for learning purposes.
In addition to this, a large proportion of paper waste is down to internal admin and external communications, such as letters to parents.
There are also vast amounts of photocopying that go hand in hand with all the paper being used.
However keen you are to rectify this situation and go paperless at pace, be realistic. Slow and steady wins the race when you’ve got an obstacle as major as paper waste to overcome. Avoid lowering morale by setting targets that are too ambitious to hit.
But you can speed up your progress by transitioning some of your manual hard copy processes to more efficient – and, importantly paper-free – digital platforms.
For example, a school app removes the need for photocopied paper communication with parents such as –
- Health, wellbeing, check-up, vaccination updates
- School reports
- School trip information requiring parental consent and payments
At Weduc, we’re making a difference in education by enabling schools to communicate with pupils, parents and stakeholders digitally.
We fully support the Let’s Go Zero campaign. Our position is all around paperless communications, forms and payments, reducing paper and printing in schools.
Interested in how it can support your carbon reduction activities? We’re looking forward to speaking with you.
First in class: how schools and universities are practising what they preach on carbon emissions, UN Environment Programme