Dedicated eco-kids at Sandys Middle School. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Dedicated eco-kids at Sandys Middle School. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
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A new initiative to promote sustainability in schools has been launched in Bermuda and it is already beginning to bear fruit.

The Eco-Schools programme is an international-accredited scheme designed to empower students to play a leading role in making a better and more sustainable world for tomorrow.

Greenrock is the on-island driving force behind the scheme and eight schools have already signed up to become Bermuda’s first ‘Eco-School’.

Abbie Caldas, who is heading the Eco Schools initiative, said: “When I was really young I started my own little nature club and have the best childhood memories of riding my bike along the railway trail or digging in the soil.

“The Eco-Schools programme is a much-needed comprehensive perspective that allows students to see and be a part of positive change, bettering their learning environment and the condition of the natural environment.”

The Eco-Schools programme is divided into seven ‘steps’ of sustainability that begin with pupils setting up an Eco-School Committee and conducting an environmental review of their school.

It also involves establishing an action plan as well as processes to monitor and evaluate sustainable techniques.

The scheme is designed to inform all sections of the school community and ends with pupils producing an Eco-Code. 

So far in Bermuda, eight schools have signed up to the initiative including: Bermuda College, Warwick Academy, Somersfield, Elliott Primary School, Sandys Middle School, Victor Scott Primary School, West Pembroke Primary School and the pre-school Stepping Stones.

The participants are all in the initial phases of the scheme, but Ms Caldas says she has been greatly encouraged by the interest that has been shown in the new project designed to promote a greener and more sustainable island.

She added: “Until now, Bermuda’s schools have not had a recognized, integrated environmental education programme that promotes long-term, whole-school action for sustainability.

“This approach combines learning and action which embeds students in their immediate environment.

“The desire to take on responsibility for their community, economic future, and the environment is instilled in them, and they’re provided with the tools to make the appropriate changes.

“They’re involved in the challenges and successes.

“This will support young Bermudians to see more clearly into our larger living system and generate sustainable solutions to improve our quality of life.

“Ultimately, Eco-School participants will be equipped with the awareness and tools to be the leaders of a sustainable Bermuda.” 

To find out more about the new Eco-Schools programme, contact Ms Caldas at abbie@greenrock.org or visit the Greenrock website at www.greenrock.org