The environmental club at St Cyprians Anglican School has grown over the last five years and now consists of 40 girls from Grade 8 to Matric. Although concern for the environment is quite a new concept for all of us, we have started seeing it not as an added extra in our routine, but rather as an integral part of it.
We started with an audit of the school which led to installing proper insulation for our Science labs, purchasing rain tanks and building our own vegetable garden. This year we have taken a more pro-active approach to environmentalism around the school. In June we held our annual Environmental week where we had guest speakers such as science writer Leonie Joubert who talked about food security, Cormac Cullinan who discussed Fracking in the Karoo, and the late Reverend John Oliver who spoke about the importance of the relationship between humans and the planet which God has blessed us with.
During the week we ran a bake sale to raise funds for Greenpop (to plant trees) and held an inter-house paper drive to collect paper for recycling. We also held a morning quiz each day to increase awareness of the state of the environment. Through the many activities held during the week, the high school students became very excited about awareness for our environment, and the week culminated with the prize giving for an environmental art competition.
In environmental club this year each grade is also focusing on a special project. The grade 8s and 9s split their time between working on the Oranjezicht City Farm (an urban agricultural paradise!) and our school vegetable garden. Here they are coming up with innovative ideas to increase the yield of our garden and also to beautify it by using recycled materials such as mosaics. The grade 10s are involved in a project to clean up the river running through Van Riebeeck park above the school and are also planting trees there in co-operation with the City of Cape Town. The Grade 11s are involved in a project involving several schools in Cape Town to research the impact of waste and to find ideas to reduce its impact. They are also busy with an ongoing campaign to collect bread bag tags which go to an organization who use them to purchase wheelchairs for those in need. The matrics are currently working on ideas to lower the environmental impact of the school tuck shop. These are some of the things we do at St Cyprians to do our part to care for the environment, and they have become a welcome part of our routine. We all enjoy these activities, and I guarantee that all others would too.