At CICD we have close to a negative carbon foot-print, because of our clothes and shoes recycling project. But we want to become much more sustainable in more areas. The slogan "Think global - act local" says it all - this is exactly what we practice with our programmes and in the daily life here at the college.
We are Another Kind of School - and we also have another kind of exams.
It's called a People's Exam. Instead of a panel of experts in a possibly quite narrow field, the exam-board is everyone at the school – all who have possibility are welcome to attend the presentations, and to put questions and challenge the answers and the presenters.
This last 1 ½ week the Climate Activists and Poverty Activists had teamed up for a special project. The headline was “Investigations & actions in local sustainability.” - with focus on how to achive a sustainable CICD.
This headline followed on a lot of discussions that we have had here at the school about how to become more sustainable.
The Climate Crisis and the effects of global heating is real, and the way we live our lives is in many ways in deep contradiction to addressing it. It is becoming more and more clear, for more and more people - including us! – that we must make some big changes. Soon!
Here in England we live in the middle of a society with so many unsustainable systems and habits that we and everyone else practice in our daily life. It has become clear that our industrialised “developed” life style is a very serious contributor to the continuosly growing emissions of green house gases. All the small pieces of plastic that billions of people use every day are now suffocating our oceans – just one example of how a small, seemingly “innocent” thing can cause big harm when it is scaled up.
So changes are necessary, and we need to find the ways to do as much as we can at the same time as we continue our volunteering programmes and our development work
Many questions have come up – such as....
….How can we change the way we eat, in a way we can afford?
….Where can we buy big supplies of organic vegetables? Where can we get better meat that is healthy and has not lived in a factory?
….Can we avoid all the plastic in the packaging by buying in bulk?
….How do we organise and plan the production in the Walled Garden for next year so we get maximum results?
….How can we make compost with kitchen scraps, without getting rats in the garden?
….Could bio-gas be a way to use waste sustainably – and maybe even produce electricity?
….What about more animals? Could we have pigs or goats or maybe sheep?
It was clear to all that this period had been very fruitful, with much new learning, good and “down-to-earth” plans, high quality products – and lots of enthusiasm!
We spent most of Saturday together all the school, enjoying one interesting presentation after the other.
The tasks presented were:
* Investigation in Sheep keeping
* Constructing a rat-proof compost bin
* Construction of 3 large raised beds in our new smaller green-house in the conservatory of “Chinese Embassy” (our Common Activity building)
* A plan for the production of vegetables, herbs, potatoes and fruits in the Walled Garden during 2021
* A complete Instruction Book - with illustrations – for how to carry out the tasks in the walled garden and the green house.
* A list of local suppliers for organic vegetables and meat that is not factory-farmed
* A catalogue with the first 30 of all the many, many species of trees and bushes in our park
* A Do-It-Yourself booklet with many healthy ways to preserve food - with recipes!
* Presentation of how to build a small bio gas plant, and suggestion for how to do it here - including prices
* Suggestion for building a compost toilet in the garden, and how to do it
* Seed Bank investigation – about how to build up a store of seeds for local crops for the future
Now we have a lot of “food for thought” and good ideas for moving forward in our work to become a sustainable Environmental Centre.
Next step now will be the concrete planning for how we make it happen.