We are incredibly proud of our Eco Team in Secondary who has been featured in Eco-Schools Magazine, in their digital publication designed to inspire. Below is a link to the article. It's in Dutch. So please also find a translation of the article.
A member of Eco-Schools already for 8 years.
The International School of The Hague (ISH) has 1480 students with more than 85 different nationalities. The school has participated in Eco-Schools since 2011 and already owns 2 Green Flags. With this breadth of experience, it is especially important to bring all the experiences and successes across to new students.
The school gives form to Eco-Schools by organising the Global Issues Network (GIN). Students in the school get together in groups once a week to work on a societal problem or project inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Think of things like food waste, poverty, and human rights. The school finds it important that students work on something that they really find interesting. This is why markets and projects are organised to find out where the interests of the students lie. Eventually, students can join an existing initiative or organise something new. In groups, they organise activities to raise awareness about the problem or to raise money.
Because ISH has participated in Eco-Schools for such a long time, the tasks of the Eco-Team are different than those at other schools. At many schools, the Eco-Team is tasked with ensuring the school is becoming more sustainable, but at ISH the Eco Team is largely busy consolidating all the things they have achieved over the years. Because there is such a large turnover of students it is sometimes difficult to convey to other students what has been achieved. ISH also gets a new Eco-Team each year. This is why all the stories and photos are put on their website. This way new members can see what their predecessors have done, and continue on from that.
A Big School
De size of the school makes gathering data and information difficult, which is needed to make a website. It's tricky to find the right people, which means it costs a lot of time. Students have solved this by talking to many different teachers and getting to know them better. This way, they know to whom they can go for specific data and information. Another challenge for the Eco-Team and the school is the continuation of projects. Among students, there is much enthusiasm to start initiatives but it's tricky to sustain them.
A Better Human Being
At school, students work on a variety of projects, that are not only good for the environment but also help them to feel good. That's why, about a project of cleaning up the beach, a member of the team said, "After a project like the Beach Cleanup you feel good about yourself, it makes you a better human being. Not only the students in the Eco-Team are positive about working on sustainability. Through the Global Issues Network, sustainability is something that features with all students. You could say that ensuring the school and the environment is sustainable has become a mindset for ISH. The members of the Eco-Team are of the opinion that working on sustainability does not hinder, but actually contributes. They also like attending an Eco-Schools. "It is nice to walk into your school and see the Green Flags wave. It makes you proud."
THe Eco-Team advises creating a network among all the organisations in the area. "Your network is your best friend." ISH has been busy with sustainability for quite a while but works together with the surrounding areas. They can help each other which betters both parties. The biggest tip the Eco-Team would like to share with other schools is, " Don't be afraid to start. If you fail, you can always start over!."