Gulf News reader M. Vigneswari shared her school's green activities and the impact its Eco Club has made on pupils, parents, school staff and the community. Image Credit: Supplied

A famous Iroquoian (native American) saying goes — "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."

Keeping this in mind, on February 9, Our Own English High School, Sharjah, witnessed the culmination of its Eco Club activities for the academic year 2009-10.

It was a moment to cherish as it also marked the completion of 10 glorious years of the Our Own Eco Club. The decade saw the humble beginning of the club and its growth into a full-fledged corps.

The Eco Club transformed students into eco-ambassadors and eco-champions.

As part of acknowledging and honouring this good work, the school held its Paper Wise Awards 2010.

Paper Wise is a project that actively encourages children to collect paper. School departments vied with each other for recognition, and gathered up a significant amount of paper. It was then weighed and given to a prominent stationary company.

Greenomy

At the awards ceremony, following the annual report, various departments were involved in staging dances, dramas, songs, presentations, and debates — making it a true ‘edutainment' programme.

In order to build positive sustainable behaviour and encourage good practices, the Eco Club showcased two projects for the academic year 2009-10, under the banner ‘Greenomy'.

The projects focused on training and educating students on the underlying causes of environmental stresses, which invariably affect personal and social values of individuals.

The school's ‘Relish Food, Refrain Waste' campaign created awareness on the negative impact of food wastage in society. Eco-champions made presentations in classes, participated in art competitions, designed posters and completed assignments in order to spread the message that wasting food is a crime.

The Eco Club also created a website www.ourownecoactivities.kawoosa.com, for students and parents to interact, share views and information.

The response from parents was highly encouraging, and led on to a second project called Swell — Save Water and Electricity to Live and Let Live.

As part of the campaign, eco-champions shared tips to cut down the consumption of water and electricity. In order to display a true account of the progress, some parents were chosen and regular follow-ups of their electricity consumption was conducted by eco-champions.

Saving electricity

Their bills were collected and a comparative study of the bills before and after the implementation of the pointers showed a remarkable reduction in the usage of water and electricity. Parents who had been successful in making a difference were honoured in a school function.

Although the Swell campaign has concluded, it will be an ongoing initiative, as the school has joined hands with Heroes of the UAE.

Further, the Eco Club also conducted an awareness campaign on saving water and electricity for the support staff of the school. Armed with newly introduced energy monitors, the support staff took an oath that they would take care of the Earth by taking care of their school. They were also provided tips on saving water and electricity in the school campus.

The Eco Club feels privileged and proud that it was able to reach out to the ancillary staff, for they are the backbone of a school.

The Eco Club believes that global challenges should be turned into opportunities for students to make changes in their own lifestyle.

Projects such as these undoubtedly encourage pupils to contribute in their own way to the environment. It would go a long way in cutting waste and saving our world.

The reader is a grade nine pupil and Eco Club president at Our Own English High School, Sharjah.

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