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The Eco-Schools Initiative – Largest Global Sustainable Schools Scheme

Keep Britain Tidy has been advocating for a clean environment for sixty years. Apart from widening its activities to include even more areas beyond tidying up the environment, the charity is now investing in the next generation and the best resource a country has; children. Eco-Schools is teaching children to not only care about their environment but most importantly, become more sustainable inside and outside of their classrooms.

The Eco-Schools programme is the largest global sustainable schools scheme running in more than 17,000 schools nationally and reaching over 6 million children. Eco-Schools is an award winning initiative that brings teachers and pupils together to learn more ways of being as sustainable as possible in and outside the school. The programme offers the simplest framework supporting pupils and teachers to make the surroundings an integral and important part of their school life.

As a result, the programme has brought in a lot of benefits and its profound effect has been felt in schools and surrounding communities. Pupils are educated and inspired in a way that equips them for the future with the right skills to be at the forefront in issues related to the environment.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Eco-Schools programme. The charity seeks to make eachEco Schools Initiative Green Flag Award school across Britain sustainable and ensure young people have understood the full value and worth of the environment. As children are encouraged to adopt eco-friendly habits from a very tender age, the green habits learned will be a part of their daily life. They will remain with them in school, communities and at home as they grow up to be environmental conscious adults.

Eco-Schools help augment the curriculum, bringing the entire school together behind a very critical subject. In fact, as environmental issues are addressed in school and waste reduced, money is saved, which is reinvested in other deprived areas. Apart from improving the school, enhancing the curriculum, saving money and linking with the immediate community, Eco-Schools ensure the school gets enough publicity and recognition for  its sustainable efforts.

Once schools have been registered, they follow an easy process of seven steps to address multiple environmental themes from waste and litter to biodiversity and healthy living. As the driving force in all Eco-Schools initiatives, pupils lead and create Eco Committees and aid in carrying out audits in the assessment of their school’s environmental performance. Together with the wider community and the entire school, the pupils decide on the eco-friendly themes to address, including the process of doing so.

Schools work hard to accomplish any of the three globally recognised awards of Green Flag, Silver and Bronze, symbolising excellence in activities related to the environment.  While Silver and Bronze awards are self-accredited via the Eco-Schools site, volunteers from Keep Britain Tidy carry out an external assessment culminating in the awarding of the Green Flag.   Colleges, special schools, secondary schools, primary schools and nursery schools are open to the programme.

Towards this noble and critical move of preparing children to be more environmental conscious and sustainable, the charity has partnered with MIW Water Cooler Experts as their official UK partner. Founded over 25 years ago, MIW is one of UK’s largest independent water cooler suppliers.  More than 5,000 schools and countless businesses across the country are being supplied with the highest quality drinking fountains and water coolers by the company.