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Pride in Redbridge: Barkingside student eco-warrior calls for a ‘change in our culture’

PUBLISHED: 13:58 27 July 2016

Muhammad Gangat receiving the Mayor's Community Award for Making A Greener Redbridge from Cllr Barbara White in March

Muhammad Gangat receiving the Mayor's Community Award for Making A Greener Redbridge from Cllr Barbara White in March

Redbridge Council

A 19-year-old who helped improve the energy efficiency of two of the borough’s schools has called on residents to follow his example.

Muhammad Gangat's group The Green Forum giving environmental workshops to disabled students at Little Heath school.Muhammad Gangat's group The Green Forum giving environmental workshops to disabled students at Little Heath school.

Former Ilford County High pupil Muhammad Gangat said: “We need a change in culture, it’s easy to do the most basic things like turning off lights and switching off computers.

“These are simple things which everyone can do.”

Muhammad spoke to the Recorder as part of the paper’s Pride in Redbridge campaign, which aims to encourage residents to look after the borough by keeping gardens tidy, picking up litter and stopping fly-tipping.

Muhammad first received accolades after introducing a “green code” at his school last year.

“It started when one of my friends was driving past Ilford County at the weekend and noticed all the lights were on,” he said.

Muhammad and his friends came up with an energy efficiency action plan which involved timing heaters and lights and turning computers off. The group bought discounted recycling bins from Redbridge Council for their school, which are now filled every day.

They improved the school’s energy rating, and Muhammed won the mayor’s award for Making A Greener Redbridge. “It was just a small project to try and make our school more environmentally friendly,” he explained.

Muhammad, who lives in Walthamstow, was inspired by visiting his home state of Gujarat in India, where electrical blackouts are commonplace.

He said: “Here in England we have electricity 24/7 and we don’t value it.

“When you go back home and you experience blackouts, then you realise how much energy we are wasting.”

Muhammad has also been holding workshops for disabled children at Little Heath School, in Hainault Road, Little Heath.

While Muhammad has taken a break to focus on starting a career in law, his organisation continues to work with schools in the borough.


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