Suffolk’s Royal Hospital School is planting a tree for every new pupil joining the school over the next seven years. Launching at its Open Day on November 9th, the tree planting is part of its new Grow with Us campaign, which also includes a range of initiatives aimed at sustainability and promoting well-being.
Scientists have stated that if 1 trillion trees are planted in the next few years, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere would be reduced by 25% – levels the world has not witnessed for at least a century. RHS hopes its example will encourage other schools to do something similar – if every school in the world – of which there are 3 million – planted 200 trees a year over the next seven years, that would mean over 4 billion trees had been added to the total.
The school has recently stopped purchasing single-use plastic bottles and provided every pupil with a refillable, stainless steel water bottle. It has also replaced the use of non-biodegradable items at its events and this weekend will see everyone attending the Open Day receive a packet of butterfly and bee-friendly seeds.
Commenting on Grow with Us, Royal Hospital School headmaster, Simon Lockyer said:
“We are fortunate to live and work in a beautiful part of Suffolk and our pupils are constantly seeking and suggesting ways that will protect both the local ecosystems and global environment. They are environmentally conscious and recognise that through their collective individual actions they can make a difference.”
The school is committed to a range of environmental and sustainable projects. It has replaced 80% of cleaning chemicals used throughout the school, instead using a filter to turn water into an effective cleaning alternative – aqueous ozone. Whilst being totally benign it also returns to water after 24 hours meaning zero chemical waste.
In spring 2020, the school is introducing honeybees and hopes to have at least six hives in place throughout the grounds by the end of the year. Tree blossom is a critical food source for bees, providing them with the nutrient-rich pollen and nectar they use to make honey.