A Zero Carbon School

Grace – Year 10 Student

The following is my submission to the Hope for the Future Competition, a competition which challenges students to produce exciting pieces of artwork representing a climate emergency for a chance to showcase their work in UK Parliament. I also entered this artwork of the school into the Art of a Sustainable Future competition, which resulted in it being a winning entry.

The inspiration behind my artwork…

The inspiration behind my artwork was my school, The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL). This piece included a sketch of the school but with a sustainable twist. I drew many ways my school could become more eco-friendly such as zero packaging in the refectory and a sports pitch that harnesses the kinetic energy of vibrations that can be stored as energy instead of the conventional, harmful alternative of using fossil fuels as energy. This was inspired by experiments in the Tokyo station in Japan by harnessing the energy triggered by the footsteps of passengers on the mats.

Thinking of new ways to integrate sustainable living in our school is extremely important as our populous school has a considerable impact on the environment with at least 2,300 pupils, we can make a difference by making more sustainable choices. For example within one year the school had printed over 3,700,000 sheets of paper in total. The environmental impact as a consequence is near to 450 trees consumed and 47,300kg of CO2 produced by just printing! Statistics like this made me realise just how much GSAL is negatively impacting the environment.

The way my school has an impact on the environment can be turned around and we should aim to contribute all we can to stop this climate crisis.

I want my MP to take climate action because…

On a wider note, if every local MP did everything they could to aid and give a platform to voice our opinions by being our representatives in Parliament, it would undoubtedly be effective and make a tremendous impact as if more MPs collectively raise concerns and thoughts on the climate crisis, action will be taken promptly.

If I was an MP I would…

As an MP I would aim to use my voice to propose ideas on sustainable living. I would not only use my voice to as a platform to raise local concerns with Parliament, but I would also use my platform to make my local constituency exemplary for others as a precedent on how to live sustainably

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is…

Unless appropriate action is taken immediately we risk compromising the quality of life for the future generations as we are already witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change at present time. E.g. the recent unprecedented Australian and Californian wildfires and prolonged droughts in East Africa and repeated flooding at home in the UK.

What makes me have hope for the future…

In the light of all of the above, solutions we need for a carbon zero future already exist, as innovative alternative sources of energy, which we can utilize instead of fossil fuels, are growing. E.g. low cost wind and solar power.

In addition the public and consumer awareness is increasing in favour of sustainable living. This includes the growing vegan population which in turn results in the decreasing demand of animal products. To conclude this results in the change of consumer as well as businesses approach towards progressing sustainably.


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