With a proven track record of active results-oriented project delivery, Greenrock is well placed to represent Bermuda on this global scale.

As it strives to catalyze positive environmental and social change, Greenrock recognizes the immense value in engaging young people, particularly in their places of learning. By joining a collaborative network of more than 11 million students across 57 countries, Greenrock will enhance its ability to empower students and school communities to be the change our island (and the world) needs, through action-oriented learning.

The Eco-Schools programme in Bermuda will build upon the success at Elliot Primary, the pilot Green School. The Elliot school community experienced significant improvements for the school: electricity savings of 30%, a school produce garden, waste audits and waste reduction and enhanced student-teacher relationships, to name a few.

The lessons from Elliot and international schools have been incorporated into the Bermuda Green School handbook which was developed by Greenrock volunteers. The handbook applies Eco-School learning to the Bermuda climate, architecture and culture, using local examples. An Eco-School is just as much about the community, the school's economic stability, and the students' learning environment as it is about the ecological impact. As well as potentially reducing electricity bills, allowing more money to be focused on the children rather than the facility, the Eco-Schools programme instills the desire to take responsibility for the environment and the community. Its holistic contribution-focused approach combines learning and action.

Greenrock identified the need for Eco-Schools in Bermuda as there was not a recognized, integrated programme connecting students with their immediate environment in a way that empowered them to take action and experience the benefits. Some schools have elements of such a programme, but do not have the overall structure and processes to ensure its holistic development and management.The Eco-School programme is an education platform, an award scheme and an environmental management system. It promotes long-term, whole-school (students, teachers, parents, community) action for sustainability. Unlike a one-off project, its lasting impacts involve and engage participants to influence all aspects of sustainability: economy, society, and environment.

The need goes beyond reducing the environmental footprint of schools: feeling powerful and effective in your immediate environment has been demonstrated to build citizenship, self-esteem and responsibility as well as boosting classroom results through experiential learning. Not only will Eco-Schools provide an understanding of the costs of continuing in unsustainable ways, it will involve participants in successful change, by providing them with the appropriate knowledge and tools. Environmental education helps to combat the lack of connection and poor classroom results that can lead to youth disenfranchisement.

The long-term outcome is a change in our collective behavior, beliefs and connection to the environment resulting in a reduced environmental footprint of the island. Students, teachers and the wider community enhance their stewardship and commitment to improving the quality of life in Bermuda. Greenrock has begun the expansion of the Eco-Schools programme by offering support for Green/Eco clubs and school sustainability initiatives in general. The next step is to employ the international knowledge and support network of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), by applying the Eco-School model to Bermuda.

Successful Eco-Schools are awarded the Green Flag, an internationally acknowledged symbol for environmental excellence.

With the support of Greenrock's Education team, participating schools will follow a clearly laid out process and be evaluated after a period of participation, earning the Eco-School's Green Flag/Mural upon completion. Schools will tackle one 'pathway' at a time (ie. energy, waste, food) and progress from creating an action plan to incorporating it into their curriculum to involving their community. Schools around the world who have achieved Eco-School status report increased environmental awareness of pupils, staff and communities, as well as financial savings and a stronger school-community relationship. As a participatory programme, all who are involved experience active citizenship which reaches beyond the walls of the school.

Students, teachers, parents, businesses or community members wishing to get involved or find out more about the Eco-Schools programme are invited to contact Abbie Caldas via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or visit www.greenrock.org, www.fee-international.org and www.eco-schools.org.

This article appeared in The Royal Gazette Green Pages on 2nd Jan 2014.


abbie

About the Author: Abbie Caldas volunteers on the Greenrock Management Committee, and leads our Education initiatives for schools and young learners.

About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more


Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)
Email: info@greenrock.org
Website: www.greenrock.org