The event is coordinated by Zero Carbon Harrogate, with over 36 schools now taking part. It’s a day that is about encouraging school children to walk to school, or, in another way, a day about discouraging parents from giving a lift.
Harrogate Grammar School was involved with the scheme from the start, and uses the School Council to cascade messages down about it, and to work out how many walked.
Harrogate Grammar School, Assistant Headteacher, Ms Alison Smith, said:
We took part in the first walk to school day, and that coincided with us becoming an eco school and gaining green flag status.
While we are aware that nationally about 25% of our carbon emissions in cities comes from transport, in Harrogate that figure is closer to 50%. So that make it important that as a community, we are supporting Zero Carbon Harrogate, and what Harrogate is trying to do to tackle climate change.
We cover climate change in our climate, and we are all about healthy living as well, so combining that fresh air, walking to school, and also being mindful of our contribution to the community, and reducing our carbon emissions.
This time we have got our school council involved, so all through this week the council reps have campaigned with their classes to get literally everyone in each form to walk to school. They were given information on the campaign, to share with their form and put up posters. That put the onus on themselves, rather than the school saying you should do this.
On this 3rd event we just wanted to maximise the number of pupils that are being mindful of climate change, and doing their bit to contribute.
Iris Griffin is on the school council for year 9:
I encouraged people to take part as it is beneficial for your mental and physical health.
Walking is a more sustainable way of transport.
I walk to school myself, every day I walk about 1.9 miles each way, which is relaxing and gets you ready for the day.
Eco-Schools is a seven-step framework that thousands of schools, nurseries and colleges around the world use to introduce, manage and complete environmental actions in their organisation and local community. Uniquely, the Seven Steps aim to place young people at the heart of these environmental actions. This approach engages, motivates and empowers young people to care for our planet now and throughout their lifetimes. You can read a brief summary of each of the Seven Eco-Schools Steps below, or head to our Early Years, Primary or Secondary & College pathways above for the full criteria, further details, resources and examples.