Learning to live sustainably

Empowering children for the future

Our modern lifestyles are entrenched with convenience which we’ve come to realise its causing damaging amounts of waste.  We are exploiting our natural resources to feed our ever-growing population and it isn’t sustainable. We need to re-evaluate how we produce and consume food for the future health of our planet and all its wonderful creatures. Our new workshops highlight the issues we face and how we can make a positive difference. This project has been funded by the North London Waste Authority.

North London Waste Authority

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is made up of seven north London boroughs (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest). Over two million residents live in the NLWA area.

NLWA is responsible for helping the seven north London boroughs dispose of the 850,000 tonnes of waste they collect every year. NLWA’s aims are to:

Achieve a 50% recycling rate by 2020

Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill to 35% (of 1995 amounts) by 2020

Week 1

‘Waste is not waste until we waste it’

We introduce the topic of waste and debate what waste is and why we create it. We discuss the 3R’s; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and delve into what we can do in relation to each one. When presented with a variety of common disposable items the pupils have to decide what can and can’t be recycled. No two responses are the same, demonstrating the lack of clarity amongst families. Find a North London Waste Authority repair cafe near you so you can avoid waste at home

Week 2

‘Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest’

Plastic Pollution – the topic brought to the forefront of everyone’s attention since David Attenborough’s latest Blue Planet. Pupils learn some shocking facts and some of the disturbing consequences. But it’s not all doom and gloom as pupils engage in activities to see what changes they can make to help alleviate the problem. We suggest starting by avoiding single use plastic bottles. Take a re-usable water bottle with you – find a water filling station here

Week 3

The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world’ Michael Pollan

Why is our lifestyle not sustainable? We explore this question and highlight key issues that can be alleviated with some lifestyle changes. Topics include meat v’s plant based diet, greenhouse gases and environmental issues such as deforestation and palm oil production. We look into the future and tackle entomophagy – that’s right we get the children to taste some dried bugs!

Week 4

‘There’s enough on this planet for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed’. Ghandi

Session 4 is cooking week and the session every child gets excited about. Time and again we prove how much children love to get involved in the preparation and cooking of food. And it doesn’t have to be cakes and sweet treats. In this session, the children learn which are the most commonly wasted food items and how to turn them into tasty dishes. Every child leaves with a recipe book to share with their families.

Week 5

“It’s only 1 straw”, said 8 million people!

It the last week of our Waste Warriors programme the pupils consolidate their learnings. Pupils have been preparing posters to display at our 2 finale events; Edmonton Green Market 28th February and The Spires in Barnet 1st March 2019. At these events the children will be spreading the word about how we can all live more sustainably whilst engaging with the public through activities on their stalls. They’ll also be seeing if anyone is game to taste a bug or two!

We’re proud of those pupils which have decided to write to companies asking them to make specific changes such as banning plastic straws and reducing plastic packaging. Let’s hope for some positive feedback.

Say no to Single-Use Plastic
If we reduce our reliance on disposable items such as straws, bags, cups, utensils and food packaging we can dramatically improve unnecessary waste, especially if you consider that globally we dump a truckload of plastic into the ocean every minute
Food waste top tips
Reduce your waste by
– writing a shopping list and stick to it – don’t shop when hungry and resist offers – Plan ahead and use your freezer – try batch cooking and practise getting creative with a few left over veg rather than let them perish – watch your portions – know that food just past it best before date can still be edible and enjoyable
Recycling tips – did you know?
If a recycling lorry has 15% or more ‘contaminated’ items then the whole lorry load is redirected to landfill. Recycled items don’t have to be pristine clean but you do need to rinse them. Common contaminators are dirty pizza boxes, nappies, toothpaste tubes and low grade plastics like clingfilm, bubblewrap. Find out more at
Felix Project
The Felix Project collects fresh, nutritious food that cannot be sold. They deliver this surplus food to charities so they can provide healthy meals and help the most vulnerable in our society.
Pupil Pledges

Each week, each child makes a promise...