Be the Change

‘Be the Change’ days aim to raise awareness and help our children consider the actions they can take to help the climate.

Our themed day this term is ‘Be Plastic Free’. The children have been encouraged to consider how they might reduce their use of single use plastics and learn how these can be a waste of the world’s limited resources and, if not recycled efficiently, cause pollution to our environment and wildlife.

Pupil Voice

We began our day reflecting on God’s gift of creation and what it means to us. We thought about how we look after gifts bought for us and came to the conclusion that we should treat our planet in the same way. It is a precious gift, a finite resource, that we must protect.

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We then looked at what plastic is and why it is such a big problem.

We found out that plastic is made from oil. It is used for many things. Examples we thought of were: bottles, wrappers, glasses, the chairs we sit on and even life-saving helmets, airbags and medical supplies. However, single use plastics are a huge problem. So not all plastics are bad! The bad plastics are single use.

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We looked in our lunch boxes and completed a single use plastic survey. We found that even though only 9 people had a packed lunch, there were 30 pieces of single use plastic (Mr.Webb even had some in his!)

 

Did you know that 8,000,000 tonnes of plastic are released into the sea every year? By 2050 this is set to double! So why is that a big deal? Well we have all seen Blue Planet. We all know that sea animals are suffering because of this.What we didn’t know was that plastic doesn’t just go away, it takes 4 hundred years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade.. In fact even when it does break down, it goes on to become microplastics. These are now found in fish, sea birds and more recently in our blood! We don’t know yet the full impact of this, but it can’t be good.

 

Why should we care? Aside from the Earth being a gift from god and caring for our gifts. We also found out just how important the ocean is to us. Did you know: The ocean generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the excess heat generated by these emissions.

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Plastic is killing our ocean. Without the ocean we would really struggle. We would have less oxygen, carbon would not be trapped and stored and temperatures will rise. Without the ocean and it’s crucial atmospheric management, Earth's maximum temperature would exceed 100°C , and the average surface temperature, which is currently around 15°C, would instead be around 50°C.

 

So what can we do? We came up with a list:

  • While recycling is effective we need to be better at it. Only 9% of plastics are recycled with 33% making their way into the sea.
  • We need to look for alternatives for plastic.
  • Refuse plastic straws and cutlery
  • Avoid excessive packaging
  • Shop at farmer’s markets
  • Use handkerchiefs
  • Use bar soaps and shampoos
  • Use reusable bags
  • Be glitter free (the oceans enemy number one)
  • Don’t use balloons
  • Use plastic free teabags
  • Reuse and upcycle.

 

In Oak Class, we discussed how plastic food wrappers are the most commonly found litter at beach cleanups, so we made our own granola bars to cut down on wrapper waste.

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Plastic straws are one of the top items found, so we made our own biodegradable paper straws.

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A prayer for plastics 

Dear Lord, 

Plastic can be fantasitic.  

If we use it right it won’t be problematic. 

Although it can hurt our friends in the seas, 

And there are things we can do to help in our families 

That can make our oceans feel better and happu 

And will also create a better life for you and me. 

But we’ll have to act quickly: 

Alone we can’t protect our seas, 

We have to work as a team. 

Amen