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March 22nd 2019

Individual Action, Global Impact

Year 11 pupils Maci, Alisha and Aoife are on a mission to reduce plastic pollution. 

Following their request to Head of Middle School Mr Eyers, the girls gave an impassioned assembly to the whole school to highlight the problem of plastic pollution and to encourage the community to support World Earth Hour on Saturday 30th March. The girls have written a blog about the issue.

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A few weeks ago, we had a spark within us and felt a sudden need to change our ways regarding plastic usage and consideration for the world in which we live. The most unsettling thought was that it was something we had control over.

The problem is something which every student in this School will most indefinitely see the repercussions. Being three Year 11 students at Cobham Hall, the issue sat dear in our hearts, and yet we see that still no changes are being made in the wider world and this is not good enough for us. 

We have set in action a series of things we would like to do, with the aim to encourage the other students at Cobham Hall to join us in a mission to make the world, our home, and environments in this School a greener and safer place. 

Consider this: if each student in the School used seven plastic products which could be cups, straws, bottles or product wrapping each week, then that is around 180 students over 52 weeks in a year. That accumulates to 65,520 products the students in our School alone produce.

...Now imagine the entirety of the staff and each student’s family. That is a figure we don't want to calculate. 

We understand the importance of the world and how rapidly we will be forced to face the consequences and here is why we are so concerned. A few important figures we feel people should know:

  • 1 in 6 species is at risk of extinction due to climate change.
  • Every two seconds an area the size of a football pitch will disappear from the forests.
  • By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish*

It is the richest countries that pollute the world the most. The damage we cause affects the poorest and most vulnerable countries first; we kill the most innocent by our actions and we ask you… How is this fair?

To us, these things are too disturbing and so we have begun to make a change and have started in our School. We recently did an assembly expressing why we care so much in hope of passing on our passion to our peers.  We asked every student who brings a reusable water bottle to school every day to stand up. I feel happy to say the figure was large however, we are hopeful that soon every student and teacher can stand up and reduce that 65,520 figure. We are privileged in Cobham Hall to be part of a small community which makes differences like this so much easier.

There are many variations of reusable bottles, for example, the School House bottles cost £1.00 in the tuck shop, and considering branded bottles of water cost a similar price, it really is worth it.

On Saturday 30th March at 8:30pm an event called 'World Earth Hour' is taking place. Led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a leading conservation organisation, everyone is encouraged to join them and turn off all lights and electronics for an hour to see what a difference we can make for just 60 minutes. It also allows us to appreciate what is essential and non-essential about being a human as many do not have access to electricity. We understand that there are those must-see TV shows, and all-important texts or calls that need to be watched, read, sent or taken, however, we have realised there is a greater importance in saving our world than an hour of electronic use.

We ask the students, staff, Parents and Guardians of Cobham Hall to join us on the 30th March and use your individual actions to create a global impact.  

We would like to leave you with a few thoughts.

We are fighting against a problem which we created, yet people don't seem to care because they cannot see the 1cm rise in sea levels or the 0.5-degree increase in temperature, but it does not make the problem go away. It is no longer your children’s children facing the end of humanity, but it is YOU. It is US.

...The dinosaurs probably thought they had time too.

 

- Maci, Aoife and Alisha, Year 11

*Facts obtained from WWF.org.uk

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