Eco-friendly Redbridge pupils plant baby trees to offset photocopies

Pupils at Beal High School planting trees as part of their environmental campaign with Principal Ter

Pupils at Beal High School planting trees as part of their environmental campaign with Principal Terese Wilmot, Simon Wassell from ISC and Rob Laird - Credit: Archant

Pupils braved the cold weather on Tuesday to plant 234 silver birch tree saplings as part of a environmental campaign.

In a bid to help reduce Beal High School’s carbon footprint, Barking-based Integrating Solutions Limited helped pupils learn about recycling by donating 10 saplings for every tree used by the school in paper.

The company leases economically friendly photocopiers to the Woodford Bridge Road school, in Redbridge, which monitors usage and does not print waste paper.

Year 10 pupils Kemi Bower, 14, said: “We are planting enough trees to absorb the carbon emissions of 800 students for a year and will be the equivalent of more than a year’s worth of photocopy paper.”

Dana Qauyumi, 14, added: “The trees will provide habitats for up to 334 species of insects, 20 species of small birds and possibly woodpeckers and the top predators sparrow hawks and kestrels.”

The company’s managing directors both have strong links to the borough.

Simon Wassell, 51, attended Mayfield School, Pedley Road, Goodmayes and Graham Fisk, 53, attended Beal.

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“The children get to understand about planting trees, what it does to the soil and it introduces them to nature and gardening,” said Mr Wassell.

“It also counteracts the school’s Co2 emissions.”

The school aims to create a tree lined avenue similar to the walkways outside the Tate Modern.

Each class at the school will plant three or four sapling over the next two weeks.

As part of a wider campaign called “the big Beal tidy up”, environmental pupil directors have been appointed in Years 9, 10, and 11.

Year 10’s director Elisabeth Widowson, 14, explained: “We must recycle more and use less, so we do not run out of resources and fill up our world with rubbish.”

Art pupils have created and decorated recycling bins and the school’s canteen has stopped using non-bio degradable food packaging.

Beal tries to communicate with parents by email or text wherever possible and pupils are logging on to Moodle – a virtual learning environment – to replace paper.

Assistant principle, Rob Laird said: “It is important that young people lead the way with looking after the environment as they will be the future of the planet and will have to clean up any mess that is left behind.”