Abu Dhabi: The sun beats down on the playground hinting at long, lazy summer days yet to come. But for the pupils and faculty of the American Community School, the thought seems far from their minds.

It all began in February when several pupils approached the school administration with concerns about the lack of recycling initiatives on their campus.

Soon the school found itself attempting to reduce its carbon footprint by attracting pupils, faculty members and parents into its recycling programme. Their aim was to find ways to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as possible.


And thus the 'Green Team' was born. The meetings are held weekly on campus and it is there that many recycling initiatives are discussed and put into action.

The school held assemblies for pupils to raise awareness about various environmental hazards and what they could do to help reduce them.

There are various recycle bins dotting the campus, along with specially marked boxes in classrooms for paper and plastic. At the end of each day, a recycling company collects everything as part of the school's initiative.

"We are also planning to reduce the number of plastic bottles that are on campus after we collected around 2,000 to 3,000 bottles in one week. We hope to do that by increasing the number of drinking fountains in the school as well as finding ways to encourage [pupils] to re-use their plastic bottles," said Anne Russell, one of the teachers in charge of the recycling programme.

Various environmental lessons were also introduced in the curriculum. In the media studies course, pupils are making a short film to raise environmental awareness.

The school hopes to cement its efforts by creating a re-usable canvas bag using a design from one of several that were submitted by pupils.