Welcome to the February Eco Education Newsletter

This month’s newsletter theme is: Litter

Litter is one of the ten Eco-Schools themes and an increasing problem across the UK. It’s something that children notice the most as it’s visible to them and affects everybody. We also review some children’s books about plastic litter in the sea.

Next month is the annual Great British Spring Clean/Great Big School Clean
25th March – 10th April
Make sure you sign up here https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-big-school-clean –

You can get some free resources to help you plan the event.  The event will launch on 8th February and more updates will follow.

Litter, recycling and waste activity and lesson ideas
*Sorting items – recycling and non-recycling
*Creating posters to encourage people to not litter
*Making pledges on how to recycle more or reduce waste
*Writing letters to local authorities
*Litter bingo – how many items can children find?
*Creating graphs/tallies/pictograms of litter collected
*Make eco bricks using soft plastics https://www.ecobricks.org/
*Monitor how much is thrown away by your school and how much is recycled
*Design a litter bug
*Decomposition rates game: https://www.ltl.org.uk/free-resources/

Organising a litter pick
Organising a litter pick is a great way to get children involved in keeping their local community clean, offers fresh air, is a simple school trip and educates them about the natural environment as well as what waste can be recycled or not. 

There are a number of things to consider when planning a litter pick:
*Notifying your local council to arrange the collection of bags and if you are undertaking the event in a public space such as a park or on the beach

*Writing a risk assessment specific to litter picking hazards such as sharps, animal faeces and safe disposal of certain hazardous items

*Who can attend – is it just classes going on a trip or will you involve the local community?  If it is for a wider audience, how will you advertise?

*Where will it be – a street clean, a local park, the beach

*Ensuring you have enough equipment for safe litter picking – high vis, gloves, litter pickers, bag hoops and sacks – where will you get it from?  Some local councils or litter picking groups can lend you equipment.

*How will you record your finds and how will you share the information with others?

*Ensure you have the correct insurance

February Book Review – the Wild Tribe Heroes books by Ellie Jackson
Ex-teacher and mum Ellie Jackson has written the Wild Tribe Heroes, popular books about wild animals faced with human-caused problems that threaten their futures. Three of them focus on the dangers of plastic waste in the sea. Children need to learn about how plastic end ups in the ocean, and what happens to marine life if it does. Children love the stories and learn about a serious topic through their gentle message, often being inspired to do more to help with the litter problem, or with wildlife under threat.

Duffy’s Lucky Escape: Duffy is a sea turtle who eats some plastic floating in the sea and needs medical attention to survive.

Nelson’s Dangerous Dive tells the story of a whale becoming tangled with an abandoned fishing net and needing help to be freed.

Marli’s Tangled Tale is about a puffin who becomes tangled with a balloon, can’t swim and gets washed up on the beach.

All the stories have happy endings, and leave children hopeful that they can do something to help with the plastic litter problem. The beautifully-illustrated books are all based on real events.The books are already in 25% of UK primary schools, and can be used from Early Years to Year 6. From the story and illustrations, teachers can plan cross-curricular work including literacy, science, drama or art.Books are available direct from the website, or from good bookshops.