4 Mar 14

EDF Energy’s schools programme launches national 'Waste Week' campaign

EDF Energy’s schools programme, The Pod, has launched its third annual ‘Waste Week’, a national campaign that aims to raise awareness about the importance of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

More than 1,900 schools across the country are getting involved in this year’s campaign, which is targeted at students aged 4 to 14. Those who take part are encouraged to carry out a variety of awareness-raising activities during a week of their choice in March.

An assortment of free resources can be downloaded from www.jointhepod.org to support schools with Waste Week, such as such as lesson plans, games, videos, posters, certificates and practical activities.

Students are encouraged to hold waste-themed assemblies and campaigns, survey the amount of waste that their school and families send to landfill, and use recycled materials for activities such as art work and gardening.

This year Waste Week will specifically focus on the impact of plastic waste. Schools will be provided with extra resources to help students learn about the science behind plastic, the problems caused by plastic waste and the types of plastic that can be recycled.

Students are encouraged to blog, make pledges and post photos about their Waste Week experiences on www.jointhepod.org to share with other schools, as well as passing on their knowledge at home to their families and friends.

The new ‘Bottle Stoppers Time Machine’ game allows students to see how the plastic bottles that they send to landfill add up, and what a difference they can make by persuading their families to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Robyn Thorn, EDF Energy’s Education Programme Manager said:

“It’s great to see so many schools signing up to get involved in this year’s Waste Week. We hope that the campaign will spark year-round behaviour change and encourage more people than ever to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

The Pod, first launched in 2008, was developed to help EDF Energy meet its Sustainability Commitment of engaging with 2.5 million children by 2012 in learning about the sustainable use of energy. This target was met two years ahead of schedule, with more than 18,000 schools and community groups now registered to The Pod and more than 10 million children engaged with the programme.

Mrs Julia Rowlands, Head Teacher at St Stephen’s Church of England Primary School in Bury, Lancashire, said:

“This is the third year running that our school has joined in with Waste Week run by The Pod. It gives us a great opportunity to focus our young pupils' minds on the importance and real benefits of reducing, re-using and recycling waste instead of it ending up in landfill. And, with the campaign running throughout March, it makes it easier for schools to take part as we can pick the days, week or weeks that suit us best.

“For any school that hasn’t yet taken part I’d say register and give it a go. There are lots of waste-inspired activities provided as part of the campaign so lesson planning requirements are minimal. Our younger pupils are really looking forward to the ‘bling a bottle’ activity and imagining what ‘life in the dumps’ would be like.”

All of the Pod’s resources are linked to the national curriculum and are accredited by Eco-Schools England. The Pod also works with partners such as the Met Office, the British Science Association and Community Interest Company (CIC) ‘Wastebuster’ to design and deliver its content and resources.

Schools who take part in Waste Week are invited to build on the knowledge they have gained by entering the ‘Primary Earth Summit 2014’, run by CIC Wastebuster. This national initiative gives students the opportunity to present their ideas for reducing plastic waste to political and industry change-makers in Parliament.

To sign up to Waste Week and for more information on EDF Energy’s The Pod, visit: www.jointhepod.org/wasteweek.