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Upper School takes on 30-day sustainability challenge

In a bid to play their part in tackling climate change, pupils at Oakham School are taking part in a 30-day challenge that will help the environment.

Inspired by the COP26 summit, the sustainability challenge will see Upper School pupils renounce an everyday habit and change a behaviour which may currently contribute towards global warming.

Some of the pledges include only buying second-hand clothes, giving up meat and dairy, going plastic free and using reusable coffee cups.

Head of Upper School, Megan Fairley, said: “This is a very timely challenge with COP26 and we want to inspire a change in our pupils by getting them to think about their carbon footprint and how their lifestyles can impact the world.

“Young people play a significant role in the future of our planet and we hope that this challenge will allow them to make changes to become more sustainable in their everyday lives.”

Not only will pupils learn about how changing something in their daily lives can help the environment, but they’ll also review how wider behavioural changes of people across the world can really help to make a difference.

Form 6 pupil James, who is also part of a UK-German youth group on climate change, added: “The project is a challenge where everyone is encouraged to participate, and not just simply choose something easy, but to make a real change to their lifestyle.

“This is important to me because I believe that this COP will mark the starting point of people taking this issue seriously, and actually bring about change that will help us keep below the 1.5-degree rise.”

James has opted to buy second-hand items, such as electronics, for his challenge and has also been following COP26 in English, French and German to help see how the summit is viewed in different countries.

Form 7 pupil Grace added: “My 30-day commitments are to walk to School each day and use reusable carrier bags rather than plastic ones.

“This challenge is important as it is increasingly apparent that more needs to be done to protect the environment.

“Whilst it may be difficult at first, I think the changes everyone adopts will become habit really quickly. I’ll definitely keep this up after the 30 days - by participating I have become far more aware of how my actions impact the world around me.” Find out more about Oakham School.

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