The Steyning Grammar School Eco Council started on a platform of change and a commitment to tackle our school’s long-term environmental challenges. Since our foundation in November 2018, that is what we have been working towards by focusing on reducing energy usage, increasing levels of biodiversity, bringing down levels of litter and implementing a program of fundamental and long-lasting change.

Our mission statement is 'You have the power today to transform tomorrow'. The SGS Eco Council believes that people power really can help stop the climate crisis. That people power is something which everyone holds; the power to turn off lights, the power to not drop litter and the power to avoid the purchasing of single-use plastics. 

From our Eco Code to our detailed Action Plan, we encourage people in our school to unleash this phenomenal power. We do this by conveying a strong message to students, parents/carers, staff and the wider community through our Twitter page, with regular pieces in the school's communication sheet and termly assemblies to update all members of our school community on what we’ve been doing.

We are making progress - many more students are getting involved in what we do and our data collection shows that energy wastage is down by 38% and the amount of litter is down across the school by 41%.

But there is still much more work to do - and that’s why, over the past 7 weeks, we have launched a successful recruitment campaign which has seen over 50 extra students join the Eco Council. Here’s what a few of them had to say about this opportunity:

Isobel Robertson feels passionately about environmental issues and wants “to be a part of a changing in the way that the world is run - from oil and coal to more sustainable and green ways”.

Amelia Godfrey wants to help “gain the public’s respect for what we [the Eco Council] do and to get them to help us save our planet. I feel as though everyone should be told more about the environment and the small things that can be done to help everyone!”

As we come to the end of this article, can I ask you to hold the following thought in your head? 

Just imagine sometime in the future, when people ask you, 'Where were you when our planet was burning, when plastic was polluting our oceans and when climate change posed a threat to our very existence?' We want our school and local community to be able to say that 'we saved the planet by changing the mindsets of others, we improved the quality of life for the future generations, and ultimately, we changed the course of history and used our power today to transform tomorrow.'

It is our responsibility to act now and unleash our power today to transform tomorrow.