A new scheme was launched yesterday to recognise and reward the good work taking place across the Borough of Scarborough by children and young people in supporting the principles of environmental sustainability and encourage them to be environmental ambassadors of the future.
Scarborough Borough Council’s Eco Champions Scheme, which is aimed at schools, colleges, youth organisations and groups, will run from September to June each year and will encourage young people to focus on sustainability issues such as recycling, littering and reducing the use of single use plastics.
Lisa Dixon, Scarborough Borough Council Director said: “We’re really excited about our new scheme and are confident that it will inspire our area’s young people to learn more about environmental sustainability and reward their efforts for tackling the issues that matter most to them.
“Their interest in the subject has already been a strong, recurring theme in previous events that we’ve hosted for young people so we really hope that the scheme will build on that enthusiasm and encourage some good spirited competition amongst the organisations and groups that take part.”
The scheme has three self-selecting levels of attainment – Bronze, Silver and Gold - to work towards, from taking the first steps towards environmental improvement to becoming a full Eco Champion.
To achieve the Bronze accreditation, the participating organisation or group has to:
Appoint a Borough Eco Champions Committee comprising of at least six young people
Sign the Borough Eco Champions Pledge: “We pledge to do our best to help our environment for our future. We will do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle and encourage others to follow our example”
Create a ‘green’ policy
Introduce a recycling scheme at their premises
To achieve the Silver level of accreditation, the participating organisation or group has to meet all the requirements of Bronze and also has to:
Reduce their carbon footprint by promoting a walk to school scheme or car share scheme or the use of public transport
Build an allotment at their premises, including composting and a method to recycle/use rain water. The allotment can be plant pot based where outdoor space is limited
To achieve the Gold level of accreditation, the participating organisation or group has to meet all the requirements of Bronze and Silver and also has to:
Fundraise for a sustainability initiative e.g. solar panels, compost bins
Reduce the amount of single use plastics they use
Reduce the amount of food waste they produce
Develop and manage a different eco-project of their choice led by their Borough Eco Champions Committee
In January each year, each participating school, college, youth organisation and group will report to the council on what it has done towards achieving its chosen level and what it intends to do during the following months to complete the accreditation.
After the end of June each year details about all the activity successfully completed will be submitted to the council and those involved will be invited to debate green issues at an Eco Champions Committee meeting at the Town Hall in Scarborough where they will be awarded their Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation.
There will also be the Borough Eco Champions Trophy up for grabs, which will be presented to the best overall organisation or group.
The Eco Champions Scheme is also linked to the council’s decision earlier this year to declare a Climate Change Emergency and do what it can to promote environmental sustainability throughout the borough.
At the launch event, winners of a competition held by the council earlier this year to design a logo to highlight the problem of single use plastics were presented with their awards by Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough, Joe Plant.
The winner of the upper age group was Cihan Eroglu (Scalby School) and the winner of the lower age group was Michelle Wade (Seamer and Irton Primary School).
A Special Recognition Award was presented to James Breckon (Oakridge School, Hinderwell) for his ‘Be Fantastic and Recycle your Plastic!’ slogan and a Special Recognition Award was also presented to Jackson Prosser (Scalby School) for his seagull logo design, which will be used within the council’s existing campaign to help people understand the differences between the different types of gulls present on the coast.
More information about the scheme, including how to register for a welcome pack, is available at www.ecochampions.co.uk