Pupils at one UK school got involved in a Christmas jumper swap – instead of buying them new, while in another school the nativity scenery and costumes were all reused or recycled
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Schools have banned Christmas crackers and the use of glitter for making festive decorations in an environmental push.
Staff have stopped youngsters using non-biodegradable decorations to teach children how to find alternatives.
Pupils at one UK school got involved in a Christmas jumper swap – instead of buying them new, while in another school the nativity scenery and costumes were all reused or recycled, reports the DailyRecord.
Eco-conscious pupils, parents and teachers are demanding more action on the climate crisis in schools – and they say Christmas time is no exception.
It comes just a month after young activists demonstrated alongside Greta Thunberg in Glasgow to demand action on climate change during the global COP26 summit.
Youngsters across the UK have been inspired by the Swedish teen activist in recent years.
Jane Prescott, head of Portsmouth High School and former president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), said students’ interest in sustainability has been “gaining even greater momentum”.
She said: “What Greta has done I think is galvanise their opinions and make them realise that, yes, it is worth making a stand about.”
This year, for the first time, Portsmouth High School ran a festive jumper swap among its pupils to reduce the purchasing of new seasonal clothes every year.
Mrs Prescott said: “It was really welcomed by the parents, but also by the girls. They’re quite environmentally conscious and they’re very into sustainability and they like the idea that something that isn’t worn out they can recycle and pass on to somebody else who can use it the following year.”
Glitter is not allowed at the private girls’ school due to its impact on the environment.
Some schools also tried to reduce the amount of festive decorations – such as Christmas crackers and table cloths – they use to reduce waste.
“I think crackers in schools probably have had their day and we probably won’t have crackers at all next year,” Mrs Prescott added.
At Canary Worth College Glenworth, a primary school in London, old boxes were used for the scenery, and old clothes and rags for the costumes, in the nativity production in order to be more sustainable.
Martin Blain, head of the school, said: “This year the environment has become our main agenda item and they [staff and pupils] we’re very keen that we weren’t using new things to do that.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Schools put a great deal of focus on the environment in all that they do because of the vital importance of this issue in general and particularly for their pupils who rightly feel very strongly about the need for a greener world.
“The recent Cop26 climate change conference may well have intensified that interest and Christmas provides a great opportunity to channel this enthusiasm into practical activities.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.