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BIS Secondary - a tree neutral campus?

“Only when the last tree is cut down, the last fish caught, the last stream poisoned, will be realize we cannot eat money.”

Tree neutral campus - BIS Secondary

Whoever first coined these wise words would have made for a very welcome guest speaker here at BIS this week. The recent plight of the Amazon has reminded us all of the need for a sustainable approach to how we lead our lives – the BIS community is no exception to this.

In a pertinent assembly, Ratul and Sagarika Mangal reminded us all that global consequences such as climate change and coral reef devastation can be addressed through local actions. Their work through the Club Cure CCA, which hosts our World’s Largest Lesson next week, and the Thao Dien Clean-Up to recognise World Cleanup Day scheduled for this coming Saturday are fine examples of this. Their work, alongside their peers, towards realising our zero single-use plastic pledge by 2020 has been incredible! One of our youngest (Jonathan Davies) and one of our oldest students (Cedric Chua – Head Student) also took to the stage in a short sketch that effectively demonstrated our paper consumption as a Secondary Campus. In the 2018-19 academic year, we consumed an astonishing 1.62 million sheets of A4 paper – by anyone’s count that’s a lot of trees! As we embark upon the installation of a new print solution that will allow students to print from their own laptops anywhere on campus, you can perhaps understand my fear – we might start printing even more!

Fear not – students and teachers alike are being set the challenge of reducing our paper consumption in this academic year. Through a carefully designed quota system, we hope to reduce our consumption of paper and in turn reduce our environmental impact as a school. We also plan to go one step further, by donating the funds we save in paper consumption to a charity that will plant trees in Vietnam on our behalf. With student-led fundraising also planned, we hope to rise to the challenge of becoming a ‘tree neutral’ school. Can we reforest what we consume annually? If the success of the zero plastic pledge is anything to go by, I am quietly confident!

Lee Falconer, Assistant Headteacher

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