Eco and Fairtrade Committee
Our Eco and Fairtrade Committee meet every Thursday and are always busy planning events to take place in and around School from promoting Fairtrade to recycling items in school.
Balshaw’s Eco Council are a 20 strong student team led by Dr Breen and Mr Butler. We have been very busy in the past year making plans to help Balshaw’s become more sustainable. Working with the Senior Leadership Team and Business Manager we have negotiated that, once the new roof is in place, insulation and solar panels are being installed. With the PTA we have successfully bid for Plastic Recycle Bins to be bought and this initiative is being launched after Easter.
Inspired by our victory in the Production Line Challenge at the NW Schools Sustainability Conference at Blackburn Rovers FC last June, we have been promoting Fairtrade, and are currently collecting clothing, shoes and books to be recycled in Eastern Europe and Africa in our Big Fairtrade Fortnight Recycling Drive. You can simply help by buying Fairtrade items while you are shopping - for example chocolate bars, bananas or dried fruit. Or you could ask shopkeepers to help by stocking Fairtrade items.
Meeting with our Canteen Manager, Hannah, we are working on a way to remove single use packaging and our goal is to recycle all the plastic bottles sold at the school Restaurant.
However, the most ambitious project we are working on is the rejuvenation of the Memorial Garden including aspects of a Wellbeing & Sensory Garden space – a place to grow fruit and vegetables and planting to encourage wildlife, birdlife, bugs and bees.
We already have the basic shape of the raised beds and the students voted for a sage green (calming) exterior paint to cover the current colour and believe that a mirrored feature would bring light and expand the space as well as fulfilling an important aspect of a sensory garden.
We also think the opposite walls could benefit from mirrors echoing the Main Hall window shape:
The importance of wildlife and nature in the garden needs not only perennial, annual and seasonal planting of the garden, but also the construction of bug hotels which provides a safe haven for insect life but also an opportunity for student study and further planting on the top to enhance the look of the garden from the upper floors overlooking the garden.
As the Eco council are championing our journey to be an Eco Green Flag School, many of our plans revolve around the re-use and re-purposing of recycled items such as pallets, tyres, plastic bottle tops to create a path. We would like to see more colourful paints in the space.
To retain its use as a Memorial Garden was thought to be imperative, and the Eco Council believe that to embrace people of all faiths and those of no faith, as our Balshavian mission statement says, then we thought the centre piece to the garden should be a water feature symbolising the lifegiving water, a reminder of baptism, the forgiveness of sins and of cleansing and renewal. It is also essential for the bird, plant and insect life and the sound of babbling water has ever been a calming and reflective sensory piece.
We already have PTA funding and some local business sponsorship but if you'd like to contribute, please help by supporting our Go Fund Me fundraising page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/balshaws-eco-council-renew-the-memorial-garden?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1