What should Willow Dene do to become a more environmentally friendly school?

We recently took to Twitter asking whether or not Willow Dene should become a glitter-free school, following a lot of media interest into environmental concerns about how glitter pollutes our oceans and can harm marine life.

The response was mixed, but the overall verdict was that Willow Dene would not become glitter free, with 53% of the public voting no to becoming glitter-free.

This was raised with our school council during our first meeting of the Summer term. We recognised that glitter would remain in school but wanted to explore other ways that Willow Dene could become a more environmentally friendly school. We discussed various ways of doing so and the council took a vote.

The vote did not show a more favourable option but it did highlight that our school council are keen for us to become a more environmentally friendly school and that they are open to different methods of doing so.

We therefore decided to put this question back to Twitter via a poll, asking the public ‘What should Willow Dene do to become a more environmentally friendly school?’

Below we have explained each of the options to help inform your vote!

Class plant

If every class had a class plant, not only would we be incorporating nature into our learning environments and opening opportunities to teach about responsibility, care and how plants live and grow, but we would also be purifying the air! Plants can purify the air by removing compounds that we don’t want. Not only that but having plants around us can lower stress levels and promote relaxation. NASA advice that bamboo plants, English Ivy and rubber plants are all good choices for our classrooms.

No plastic bottles

The mound of waste plastic continues to grow and many of our plastic bottles end up in landfills, the sea or the environment. We can reduce this by finding a water bottle we like and reusing it. There are plenty of water bottles available to us all and a style for everyone, meaning that if we all used water bottles as opposed to plastic bottles, we would be significantly reducing our plastic waste.

Scrap paper trays

It is easy to minimise paper waste by simply reusing paper. Many of us only use one side of a piece of paper when we are mark making, colouring or making notes and don’t always think to use the other side. If every class had a scrap paper tray, then each person within the class can take responsibility for putting any paper they are not keeping in the scrap paper tray. Likewise, when someone needs a piece of paper to doodle or pop a reminder on, they can take from the scrap paper tray before using a new piece of paper. Reducing our paper waste can reduce climate changes, save trees, as well as water and the consumption of power used through transporting paper.

Compost bins

Dinner time sees many children and adults eating their food, but also leaving parts of their dinner. Putting this in a compost bin as opposed to our normal waste bins not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfills, but a compost bin also reduces pollution, by keeping organic matter out of landfills, thus reducing methane production occurring in waste disposal areas.


So, ‘What should Willow Dene do to become a more environmentally friendly school?’

Head over to Twitter and follow @Willowdenesch to have your vote and help us become a more environmentally friendly school!