Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Cowbridge pupils' success highlighted at Eco-Schools conference

A Wales-wide conference for secondary schools was held today in Cardiff Bay to bring Eco-Committee members together to investigate ways of safeguarding our planet for the future.

Pupils from years 8, 9 and 11 took part in workshops to come up with ideas for 'actions' to suggest to their school's Eco-Committee in the areas of water, energy, transport, school grounds and global citizenship. They also had the opportunity to meet with pupils from schools across Wales and share ideas. Cowbridge Comprehensive School pupils were praised for achieving their third Green Flag and for producing the 'Don't be a Waster, be a Saver!' video which was shown during the conference as an example of a project that has brought the school together under one common goal in a fun way.

Many speakers and organisations took part in the conference including Peter Davies, the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, who spoke about the importance of making sure young people's voices are heard and the important role Eco-Schools Wales plays in facilitating this.

Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures
Lukas Wallis and Cameron Marlor taking part in a Welsh Water workshop

Monday, 24 June 2013

More than 3,500 views for Eco-Video

Unbelievably, the video for 'Don't be a Waster, be a Saver!' has attracted more than 3,500 views on YouTube in a little more than a week.

It has also attracted a lot of attention on Twitter with re-tweets from important environmental organisations such as Eco-Schools Wales, Cynnal Cymru, Climate Change Commission for Wales and Size of Wales. Also pupils and Cowbridge-based organisations such as the HubCowbridge and The Gem have been tweeting as well as Eco-Schools Netherlands which tweeted in Dutch about the video!

The aim is to reach 10,000 views - please support us by encouraging as many people as possible to watch the video on YouTube and give us the thumbs up! Just go to Don't be a Waster, be a Saver! And, you never know, if we all ask Al Gore to re-tweet about the video, he may just do it!

Monday, 17 June 2013

World-wide success for Eco-Video!

Cowbridge Comprehensive School's new Eco-Video is being watched across the world, and there are even comments on Twitter in Dutch about it!
The song, entitled 'Don't be a Waster, be a Saver!' was written by the school's Eco-Committee and the ideas for the video came from them too.

Everybody has played their part, from year 7 pupils to the senior leadership team, and from the canteen staff to the caretakers.

The video was released on Friday (14th of June) on YouTube and already more than 2,500 have viewed the video. Take a look by clicking on the image below...

Friday, 14 June 2013

Switch Off Friday Success

Thank you to everybody who took part in Switch Off Friday.

Before half term 56% of classrooms had their lights on but on Switch Off Friday the percentage of classrooms with their lights on had decreased to 32% - a great result!

Going for Green

Pupils at Cowbridge Comprehensive School are going for their third green flag today.

The Eco-Committee will be presenting information about their work over the past two years to Julie Giles from Eco-Schools Cymru. To view the Prezi presentation they will be giving just click on the image below.

They will also be showing the new Eco-Song, previewed yesterday on the blog! To view the Eco-Song 'Don't be a Waster, be a Saver!' click here.
Click on this image to view the Prezi presentation they will be giving
Pob lwc!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Eco-Song Release

There's a frenzy of anticipation for the release of the new Eco-song and Video. The song, entitled 'Don't be a Waster, be a Saver!' was written by the school's Eco-Committee and the ideas for the video came from them too.

Everybody has played their part, from year 7 pupils to the senior leadership team, and from the canteen staff to the caretakers.

The video will be released on Friday, to be shown as part of our Eco-Schools inspection visit, in the hope that it will help us win our third green flag. It will also be available to see on YouTube.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Switch Off Friday

Today is 'Switch Off Friday'. Its aim is to use as little energy as possible in school today and over the weekend. Pupils and staff will be playing their part:
1. Don't turn the lights on unless you have to (or they turn on automatically, unfortunately).
2. Keep blinds open.
3. Turn the lights off when you leave the room at lunch time etc.
4. Goodbye Standby! At the end of the day, turn off your computer, monitor, projector, speakers, printers (at the plug if possible) for the weekend.
5. Be aware of Eco-spies!
Pupils can also play their part at home - by not leaving lights on or electrical goods on standby. And by not leaving a mobile phone pluged in if it is already fully charged. Pupils could ask parents for pocket money for the amount they're saving on the electricity bill!

Why not do the Home Energy Check to find out the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Thanks for your co-operation, the Eco-Committee.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

World Environment Day

Cllr Rob Curtis with Michael Walsh and Kate Gwynn

To celebrate World Environment Day, two Eco-Committee representatives from year 12 took part in a Vale of Glamorgan Council event, hosted by Cllr Rob Curtis, Cabinet Member for The Environment.

The event's focus was food - one in seven people in the world don't have enough to eat yet 400 tonnes of food is wasted in Wales by households each year. If this waste food was recycled it could produce enough energy to power 19,000 homes a year.

Michael Walsh, year 12 pupil at Cowbridge Comprehensive School, said:

"The conference was very productive in my opinion as it brought together people from many different backgrounds, organisations and companies to discuss environmental issues, especially food issues, in the Vale of Glamorgan. There was a clear message - there has been good progress, but there is far more needed to be done to meet our targets, and it needs to be driven by young people, as it's our future.

"The panel of speakers each individually gave their own message to the four young people in the room. It was a very interesting day and I would recommend participation in environmental action to anyone, as it's so important. From this event, we can bring back new ideas to the school's Eco-Committee!"

A large number of organisations were represented at the event and speakers included Jasper Roberts from the Welsh Government, John Honfray from Cowbridge Compost and Elen Jones from FairTrade Wales.
Each of the speakers gave words of wisdom to the younger generation.

1. Use your influence to change your parents' behaviour, for example encourage them to recycle and to place wasted food in the food collection bin.
2. Don't follow the heard if you want to make a difference. 

3. Grow your own food and don't buy food that you won't need - plan your weekly food shop based on what you need.

4. Understand the difference between sell by, best before and use by dates on food.

5. Harness your enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to speak up and get involved.

6. Buy FairTrade cotton shirts and blouses for school.

7. Use your consumer power - if it's not FairTrade, don't buy it. Or if there's too much packaging, opt for a product with less packaging or recyclable packaging.

8. Go to the Energy Saving Trust's website and do the Water Energy Calculator. See how your house compares to your neighbours' houses and your family's homes.

9. Support the local economy, shop locally and buy local produce.
10. Join a campaign, any campaign, for example the Save the Bluefin Tuna campaign.

Cllr Curtis was delighted to host the Vale Council's inaugural World Environment Day Event. He was very impressed by the students' enthusiasm and encouraged by their eco-work at the school. Cllr Curtis' message to students is to find an environmental cause that they feel passionate about and join in - however small their contribution is, they can still make a difference.