CLARENDON High School for Girls was honoured for their environmental work by receiving an Eco-Schools’ Green Flag recently.
This flag was awarded by Sue Spies, who is in charge of the schools programme for the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa), after the completion of three themes from the Wessa handbook guidelines.
Eco-Schools is an international programme for the Foundation of Environmental Education developed to support environmental learning. Their aim is to create awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities.
Eco-Schools accredits schools that make a commitment to continuously improve their school’s environmental performance.
Clarendon was awarded a bronze certificate at the end of 2012 after the adoption of recycling under the ‘Resource Use’ theme. The school has established a recycling centre, which currently caters for cans, paper and cardboard.
In 2013, they were awarded a silver certificate for their work under the theme of “Healthy Living”.
This concentrated on hygiene, safety at school, healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.
The tuckshop implemented a variety of healthy options and the girls also introduced Meat Free Mondays.
“Nature and Biodiversity” was the third theme, where attention was focused on water conservation.
All the shower heads in the hostel were changed to low-flow, sinkers were put in the cistern of toilets to allow for a low flush system and Jo-Jo tanks were moved to the new Astroturf (from which they plan to water the turf in future).
The girls were made aware of the plight of people in drought- stricken areas and generously donated water to assist these communities.
The school has also begun to monitor the state of rivers and estuaries as part of the mini-Sass programme and are currently monitoring the Nahoon River at the Abbotsford and Dorchester causeways.
This year, they have focused on “Global and Local Issues”, specifically Ocean Pollution and hope to submit their work for another audit at the end of 2017, when they should be eligible for a gold flag.
Teacher in charge of the environmental club, Estelle Fredericks said: “We are extremely proud of our achievement and hope to climb the ‘green ladder’ even further in future.”