Schools across the country tackling climate change with Let’s Go Zero

Just days before the Restore Nature Now! march gathers in London thousands of schools and community groups across the UK have come together to take action for climate – and there’s still time to join in.

The Climate Action Countdown is an exciting, fun and collaborative climate event for schools this year. Four weeks of climate action activities and events have been taking place from 7 June and will go on until 5 July 2024 – helping to inspire and engage students with fun activities related to reducing their own and their schools’ carbon footprints and protecting nature.

Organised by the Let’s Go Zero coalition campaign, which supports schools to be zero carbon by 2030, organisations have created activities from holding uniform swap shops, spotlighting green careers, vertical gardening, building bug houses, active travel adventures, petitioning and sustainability bingo. There is something for everyone and every school to get involved with.

Alex Green, head of Let’s Go Zero, said: “This is an amazing month of climate action inspiring and involve schools from all around the country. All the activities are fun and it’s a really eclectic pick-and-mix range of things to do – from singing to writing manifestos.”

“You can take part as a whole school, or do the activities as a class, eco-club, or individual student. catering teams, caretakers and other staff can also help their school get involved.

“And we’d love home schoolers to join us too.

“By doing these fun and engaging activities, schools can take the first steps on their journey to being zero carbon. We know that the Countdown will inspire even more schools to be part of the growing Let’s Go Zero campaign, working to help all UK schools be zero carbon by 2030.”

Group activities like this are also important for mental health and reducing climate anxiety among children and young people, said Ms Green: “According to a survey by mental health charity Place2Be, 43 per cent of children (8-16yrs) have worried about climate change / the environment in the last three months.

“We know that positive action is what helps children stop worrying and engage with what can be very overwhelming information about climate.

“So, this month will provide a whole range of ideas about how to act positively, improve schools, protect the environment, and get students outside enjoying nature.”

There is special ‘Eco-anxiety’ guidance to teachers on how to talk about climate change with students to make them feel more confident about their future while addressing the facts.

Sam Luker, chief operating officer at Trinitas Academy Trust, said: “We have seven schools in South London and jumped at the chance of joining Let’s Go Zero’s  Climate Action Countdown in June with engaging activities for the pupils, awareness assemblies and the creation of their own manifestos.

“And behind the scenes the Let’s Go Zero Climate Action Advisers have supported Trust leaders to draft our climate action plan and conduct site audits. This free support has been invaluable to the Trust and I don’t know how we would have got to this point without their help.”

Schools and communities can access a range of free Climate Action Countdown resources – including activity packs, assemblies, music videos, posters, quizzes, worksheets and a calendar of daily inspiration.

Suggested activities to choose from including learning the SOS For the Earth song, enjoying a plant-based picnic, setting up a Pop-Up Clothes Swap Shop, or holding a talking session on eco-anxiety.

There is also a step-by-step activity guide to explain each day’s challenge and regular ‘how-to’ emails to make the month’s activities as easy for busy teachers and community leaders as possible – and the chance to win some fantastic sustainability prizes along the way.

 More than one in ten UK schools are signed up to Let’s Go Zero and are supported by coalition members which include WWF, Surfers Against Sewage, Ashden, Fairtrade, Ecoschools, Global Action Plan, Sustrans, The Tree Council, Energy Spark, ProVeg, Young Climate Warriors, Green School’s Project, Carbon Trust, Climate Friendly Schools, Modeshift Stars, Young People’s Trust for the Environment, and WRAP, all of which have created activity days during the month and provided resources for schools.

Climate Action Experts are also available to come to schools and deliver assemblies.

Sign up to the Climate Action Countdown here then share your climate activities by tagging @letsgo_zero on social media and using the hashtag #ClimateActionCountdown.

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