School life | Prep School goes green with paper recycling
The Prep School’s prefect team have already been very busy since the start of the year, as they’ve developed the Wellington Values reward card system and various other projects and proposals. This term, recycling has been the focus of their attention, as they have set out to make Wellington a greener place through a new paper recycling project.
Achieving truly effective recycling in China can often be a tricky prospect, however, so it took a lot of effort to find a company who could help make this idea a reality. After lots of research, the team finally found Green Initiatives, who have agreed to make collections every two weeks to pick up all the paper that the College has saved for recycling. Wellington is the first school in Shanghai to take such an active stance on recycling paper and it’s all due to the dedicated efforts of the Prep School prefect team, ably supported by Mrs Mulliner.
“We got the project started by having 24 recycling points placed all around the college and we encourage everyone to put their paper in these boxes. Each week, we prefects take the boxes to the big recycling bins and sort them into two categories – white paper and yellow paper – so it’s all ready for Green Initiatives to come and take it away.” – Jonathan, year 8 prefect
Once the collection is made by Green Initiatives, the paper is taken away to a recycling plant in Ningbo. Eventually, the idea is that Wellington will be able to directly buy back all the paper that it has recycled, which can be reused between 4 to 7 times. Since paper is an essential, everyday resource in any school, this system has four distinct advantages:
· Saving the school money on paper supplies
· Aiding the environment
· Promoting the benefits of recycling in a highly noticeable manner
· Encouraging greater participation in recycling efforts across the College
The project already has drawn plenty of attention across the Prep School and the wider Wellington community, as the team aim to make this the start of a permanent green initiative that will continue even after their time at Wellington is over:
“We’ve got quite a big team for this project with a wide span of ages of pupils helping out. There’s about 20 of us: 12 prefects (including the heads and deputy heads of house) and the form captains from years 3-5. We think that it’s really important to include pupils from every year group in the Prep School from 3 to 8, because as the younger ones move up they’ll teach the next year of pupils about the importance of recycling. We want everyone to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” paper as much as possible so the idea will hopefully stick and become something that we do automatically.” – Selena, year 8 prefect
The project is only just getting started, and after the three-month trial period has ended, Green Initiatives should be able to tell us how many tons of paper have been recycled and the equivalent of how many trees have been saved as a result of our collective efforts as a school.
Once this information comes in, the team’s plan is to make a display in reception (all using recycled paper, of course!) that highlights how many trees the project has saved so far, as well as its future targets. This will not only allow everyone in the Prep School to celebrate the great work that they’ve been doing, but it will also draw attention to the importance of recycling and the tangible difference it makes.
Prep School In Shanghai
As the prefect team have said themselves, this project is as much about changing attitudes and inspiring environmental responsibility as it is about saving paper:
“Children spend a lot of their time at school, so if their school is involved in recycling then maybe they will take the idea home with them and share it with their parents, who will then start recycling as well. We want to spread awareness of the importance of recycling as far as possible so that it has the biggest possible effect.” – Sophie, year 8 prefect
So make sure that you recycle as much paper as you can, both at school and at home. Hopefully then, within a few months, we will all be able to celebrate having saved a small forest’s worth of trees!
In answer to a frequently asked question about the recycling process, Mrs Mulliner would like everyone to be aware that white paper with any colour images printed on it should be placed in the white paper box in the main paper bin in DT and/or the main reception.