How to use school gardens in the fight against climate change

Worried about climate change? A school garden can be the perfect place to start making positive changes and help you feel more in control of the world around you.

20 September 2019

In a time where we are all thinking about what the future might look like and there is growing concern around forest fires and plastic-filled oceans, the space in and around your school can play an important part.
Plants play a vital role in our ecosystem and have the power to do incredible things. They can provide oxygen, trap pollutants, prevent flooding, cool the air, provide homes for wildlife, provide food and clothing for us…plants are amazing.
So here are five very simple things that you can try in your school to start making a difference: 

  • Grow your own food: no matter how much space you have, even a collection of containers can be enough to grow a harvest of fresh produce. Growing your own will also help to cut back on food miles, plastic waste and trips to the supermarket. You could give the produce to your school kitchen, sell it to make extra funds for your school or cook them up and serve at an event such as a Big Soup Share!
  • Reuse waste materials: schools are a treasure trove of items than can be reused in the garden to avoid more waste going into landfill. Old trays are perfect for seed sowing and old plastic bottles, tins from the kitchen and wooden pallets can be transformed into eco-friendly containers. You could hold a competition to see who can come up with the most creative container
  • Sow a mini wildflower meadow: scatter a wildflower mix onto a patch of soil to support bees and other under-threat pollinators, or let grass verges go wild. It looks beautiful and saves on mowing costs
  • Be wise about water: install a water butt to collect water from the school roof for watering on drier days. You could also hold a challenge to encourage everyone to reduce how much water they use in their daily lives – meaning more can be used in the garden
  • Plant a tree or a hedge: two of the best things you can plant to support the environment, both can help purify the air by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, produce oxygen, capture pollutant particles, prevent flooding and support wildlife. If space is limited, you can opt for small varieties such as dwarf fruit trees that will happily grow in containers, or consider planting in the community

If we all pull together and make positive changes in schools, it can make a big difference, not only on our environmental impact but also in our local community. Action for climate change is not just about using less, it’s about doing more for the planet.

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