Uplands School Environment Pledge
I pledge to love the environment at Uplands Prep School.
To help look after trees and plants, because that’s really cool.
I pledge to pick up litter and save the water too.
I’ll reduce, reuse and recycle because it’s what I like to do.
I care about my planet Earth and the place in which I live.
I pledge to encourage others, and also show them how to give.
About 400 children gathered around the school flagpole on Wednesday 8th March, standing proudly under the newly awarded Eco-Schools’ Diamond flag. Led by Mrs Greenbody, (dressed in her formal African outfit), the children recited the pledge with enthusiasm. Uplands is only the third school in Mpumalanga to achieve Diamond Decade level.
Ten years ago, teacher Sue Kloeck took up the enviro baton at Uplands and the school registered for the WESSA Eco-School Programme, steadily rising through the annual Eco-Schools awards until reaching the highest level possible – Diamond Decade. Renata Stewart, aka Mrs Greenbody, joined the initiative and subsequent to Mrs Kloeck’s recent retirement now carries the Eco-Schools flag.
Eco-Schools is a school based environmental management, certification and sustainable development education programme implemented in more than 52 countries worldwide. There are over 1100 schools in South Africa currently registered in the programme. The programme has seven steps:
- Form an Eco-Committee
- Write an Eco-code
- Do an Eco-Audit and choose a theme
- Plan for teaching and learning
- Plan and take action
- Report and share
- Receive an award
Uplands has been practising environmental awareness and ethics for the past 10 years and has successfully met the standards and norms of Eco-Schools. Mrs Greenbody has introduced UPPY, the delightful hand knitted Greenie Bear to the Prep school. UPPY is presented to the Enviro Pupil of the Week at assembly and he is a hotly contested award – leaking taps, brushcutter cable ends and all sorts of enviro issues are reported on in the hopes of winning a week with UPPY.
As they enter their 11th year of Eco-Schools, Uplands Eco Warriors are preparing to select their next project. An issue close to Mrs Greenbody’s heart is that of recycling, something that the entire town and community can get behind. It would enormously benefit the town if Uplands, with the support of business and residents, could establish a sustainable recycling initiative in White River.