The British School of Nanjing took a slightly different approach to Earth Day this year, stressing the impact when individuals change their habits to more sustainable practices.
This year, the school partnered with Aramark to help students see how changing our diet can benefit the planet in offering a completely meat-free lunch, making use of “Beyond Meat” to offer a more environmentally responsible lunch
The students themselves were excited about the change, although younger students were focused on the taste, with the pizza getting top marks, rather than environmental benefits. Jorik in Year 7, felt that he couldn’t taste the difference with classmate Matei, adding that it made him realise (for the first time) “you can make delicious food with vegetables!”
Manon and Sarah, both in Year 8, agreed they would choose the dishes over meat and would be happy to see this as a regular change, although both added “as long as one option included the pizza!”
Older students were, as expected, a little clearer about the reasons behind the change, with Osbert and his classmates in Year 9, agreeing that ‘they were considering asking their families to look at going beyond meat for environmental reasons” and Head girl, Ella, adding “it doesn’t feel like it’s not meat” and suggesting that it would be something she’d also hope her family might try at home.
“The focus for most people was on how easy this change would be for them, since the food was so tasty. Everyone recognised that this was good for the environment, but the motivation to make this personal change was that much easier, given the quality of the food was so good.” said BSN principal Mr Shephard.