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Best Green Ideas

Each year, The Week publishes the ‘best of the best’ in its annual schools guide. This year, South Hampstead was selected as the best school for green ideas.

All-girls’ South Hampstead High is ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental issues. First came Project Zero, a pupil-led initiative to significantly reduce the school’s environmental impact by its 150th anniversary in 2026. Strategies included ditching polystyrene lunch boxes and single-use plastic cutlery and cups and setting up recycling points for pens, crisp packets and batteries.

Next, headmistress Vicky Bingham pledged to give up buying clothes for a year and launched a new lunchtime club for pupils to make their own 365-day eco-pledges. Some girls gave up lifts to school, some said they’d only use palm oil products from sustainable sources and many stopped using plastic water bottles and straws.

This summer pupils launched their own monthly eco newsletter, hosted a whole school assembly (along with pupils from St Paul’s Girls’ School and North London Collegiate School) on biodiversity and shared an email template for students to send to their MPs to demand a green economic recovery from the pandemic. Girls also successfully lobbied for meat-free school lunches every week and one enterprising pupil set up a website selling plastic-free household products.

The article first appeared in the Autumn/Winter edition of The Week Independent Schools Guide. 

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