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January 30th 2020

Head Girl Team Blog: We have already seen the school come together in solidarity for our environment

Natasha from our Sixth Form and head girl team talks about our 'Year of Promise'.

This year marks 140 years since our school was founded, and in order to ensure that we are able to celebrate a further 140 years, Blackheath High School has introduced our ‘Year of Promise’.

This consists of a variety of pledges made by the school community with an aim to ‘do our bit’ for the environment by contributing to the sustainability of our community. As a result, we have already seen the school community tighten and come together in solidarity, with various girls organising carpools and travelling together in order to reduce their daily CO2 emissions. Others have pledged to resist the temptations of fast-fashion and explore the charity shops, while our very own DT department will launch a bamboo bike-making club. Everyone in school is encouraged to take part in any way possible, even if it’s simply pledging to make sure that all lights are turned off when not needed.

Naturally, the Head-Girl Team was very keen to get involved, and we’ve got Olivia just finishing a stoic month of ‘Veganuary’, which saw her turning down cakes and treats in order to reduce her consumption of all dairy and meat, which have a negative impact on the environment. Our Head Girl Ingrid also participated through pledging to choose layers over the heating, recognising that a few extra jumpers will heat her sufficiently without having more serious repercussions for the environment, while Apple and I have pledged to cut down on the amount of lifts/taxis we take, aiming to only use public transport unless extremely necessary. On top of this, I have purchased a reusable coffee cup, which is a win-win for both the environment and my bank account as I save money every time I use it, and I cannot recommend them enough! On behalf of the Head Girl team as a whole, our collective pledge is to reduce the amount of paper we use each month, particularly as we are all able to take notes digitally, and we find that we waste a lot of paper on printing and photocopying. This also links to Mrs Chandler-Thompson’s pledge to abstain from printing at all during this year.

This ‘Year of Promise’ holds a special value for our school in particular, due to our spectacular location. The whole school has in fact made a pledge to reduce ocean plastic, while highlighting the vital role of clean oceans in our curriculum. All this is in honour of our local maritime environment by the River Thames in Greenwich, which we are aiming to protect and preserve through a reduction of single-use plastic, with a growing choice of vegan and vegetarian options at lunch.

All of these pledges, no matter how small, are commemorating our 140th birthday, and what better present than a united community fighting against climate change?

Written by Natasha, Year 13


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