When it comes to saving the planet, Claremont is definitely open for business. Building on the brilliant year round work of the School’s Eco Warriors as they pursue Green Flag Status, pupils from Year 7 and 8 decided to launch The Claremont Eco Store to sell environmentally friendly products directly to parents and friends. Believed to be among one of the first of its kind in a school, The Eco Store has gone from strength to strength since it first opened its doors last November. From humble beginnings and a modest stock list chosen and marketed by the children themselves to include Eco friendly shampoo, body wash and refillable bottles, the Eco Warriors have been able to reinvest in their ‘business’ and expand their product range to include new Eco lines in soap bars, washing up liquid, reusable straws and face pads, ‘truthbrushes’ and bamboo cotton buds, dental floss and top selling toilet paper – ‘Bumboo’. The children also took the Eco Store to the annual Friends of Claremont Christmas Bazaar where they were able to promote their cause and wares to the wider local community. What an amazing initiative!
Sally Bunker, fellow Eco Warrior and mentor said “If just half of our parents used our refill shop that would be 170 households not buying single use plastic bottles for shampoo, conditioner, body wash and washing up liquid. That’s potentially 700 single use plastic bottles we could reduce with immediate effect!”
With the help of charity onetreeplanted.org, the children decided that for every £10 in takings the children would ‘plant a tree’. 10 trees were planted in Kenya on the Eco Store’s opening day and 17 the following week. This year the children have decided that further donations will now go towards tree planting initiatives in Australia to help repair the landscape and habitats destroyed by the recent bush fires.
Mr Bunker said “It has been a pleasure working with this group of incredible students. The “Eco warriors” are passionate about the environment, enthusiastic and a joy to be around. It is a worrying time for our environment and the children are well informed of the challenges that we face, but this project has been more than a learning experience, it has empowered the children to take positive action – something they are extremely proud of. They know that in doing their bit, they are helping better protect the earth for generations to come”.
In addition to the ongoing work of the Eco Warriors and Committee, Claremont currently holds Eco School Silver status and is well on the way to achieving the much coveted Green Flag award. For this, the School must demonstrate whole school involvement and evidence of sustained formal curriculum learning with regard to raising awareness of and improving the environment in both the school and local community, whilst at the same time having a life-long positive impact on the lives of young people and their families.
If children ruled the world…!