Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Clean and Green Awards 2015

The Clean and Green Schools programme started 14 years ago and is a campaign aimed at raising awareness in green issues and encouraging young people to look after their local environment. The programme has produced some truly wonderful work, from various schools across Lewisham.

This year, 8 schools took part in the programme and we were thrilled to see the efforts the schools went to, in order to make their school as Clean and Green as possible. When this programme is fully embraced, it can really cultivate school pride amongst teachers and pupils alike, as well as help schools create lasting relationships within their local communities.

The overall winner of the programme for 2015, winning the Distinction Gold Award and a cheque for £300 was awarded to All Saints Primary School, in Blackheath.

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

 This week, judges and organisers of the Clean and Green Schools programme visited All Saints Primary School to award them with their well-deserved prize, and to thank them for their participation and wonderful achievements that the whole school community were involved in.

The judges of the competition felt that All Saints really embraced all the categories the schools were judged on, including:

  • Pupil and community involvement
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

From regular audits, improvements to recycling facilities and clean ups, to Fairtrade cafes, cook-ups and fashion parades, All Saints involved not only the school, but the wider community.

Impressing the judges, All Saints went to great lengths to ensure that many of the activities were not one-off events but became part of the school’s sustained culture.

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

The judges were astounded to discover that All Saints researched Fairtrade clothing companies to then use this clothing as part of their school uniforms. This was very innovative and also showed a genuine desire to integrate sustainable practices into the school.

All Saints, have done an absolutely fantastic job! On behalf of Lewisham Council, we would like to thank you very much for taking part in the programme and for being such an inspiring school!


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Cup of tea anyone?

Hot and refreshing, nothing beats a good cup of tea. Making it, and popping that little tea bag into a steaming cup just gives you a happy feeling.

But happy feelings aren’t necessarily what the farmers and workers have when they are growing and harvesting the tea. Many work long hours, are underpaid, and live in poverty. Health clinics, running water, electricity and adequate schooling for their children are just things to dream about, rather than a reality. They often cannot even enjoy a cup of tea that they’ve grown themselves.

Thankfully, Fairtrade is working to bring better working conditions, better pay and better community facilities and infrastructure to these people. Farmers associated with Fairtrade now wear smiles as they see their kids furthering their education, bridges being built to connect isolated villages, and medical clinics opening to provide help for the sick.

Each year, Fairtrade week highlights the need for more support for these and the many communities who are not yet benefiting from this organisation.

One way of raising awareness is getting our local schools involved. Here in Lewisham, primary schools have been studying the lives of people around the globe who produce goods such as tea and the great things Fairtrade do.

Encouraged by Lewisham Council, Lewisham kids have been designing Fairtrade posters to enter a competition where the winner’s poster is used on the side of one of our recycling lorries. This year’s winner was Isla Prosser from All Saint’s Church of England Primary School.

Winner of the Fairtrade poster competition, Isla Prosser stands proudly infront of her art work with Cllr Onikosi

Winner of the Fairtrade poster competition, Isla Prosser stands proudly infront of her art work with Cllr Onikosi

By choosing Fairtrade products you’re helping to transform the livelihoods of more than 1.4 million people in 74 countries around the world! I’d have a cup of Fairtrade tea to that!


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Going bananas and getting creative for Fairtrade Fortnight!

Bananas are a hot topic as this years Fairtrade Fortnight (24th February to 9th March) centered around the campaign to make bananas fair. Lewisham got into the swing of things with a number of events throughout the fortnight including a supper at the Catford Canteen, discussions by banana farmers at both Goldsmiths University and the Horniman Museum. Lewisham schools also got on board with Kilmorie school hosting a Banana themed Fairtrade breakfast and cake sale and the boroughs Clean & Green schools took part in a Fairtrade poster competition.

A Fairtrade banana tells people about the plight of the banana farmers at at Horniman Park.

A Fairtrade banana tells people about the plight of the banana farmers at Horniman Park.

Prices for bananas has been driven lower because of a price war from supermarkets to entice shoppers by offering the fruit cheaply. The effect of this has been to push the price paid to the banana producers to 40% less over the last ten years at a time when the cost of producing bananas has increased. This not only has a detrimental effect on the wages and working conditions for farmers but encourages them to intensify banana production. Environmental problems such as soil exhaustion and increased water use also have the potential to effect the land.

Leona Garrick of St Winifreds Catholic Infant School with teacher Mrs Abbs and Councillor Susan Wise

Leona Garrick of St Winifreds Catholic Infant School with teacher Mrs Abbs and Councillor Susan Wise

Leona Garrick produced this years winning poster design which will be seen out and about in the borough on one of our recycling vehicles! For more information about Fairtrade, please visit: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/business/Pages/Fairtrade.aspx


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World Fairtrade Day Poster Competition Winner!

This year’s World Fairtrade Day was on Saturday the 11th of May and Lewisham children were asked to design a poster or collage in a competition to display on a Lewisham recycling vehicle.

Fairtrade is an organised social movement whose aim it is to help producers in developing countries and to make better trading conditions for their produce whilst also supporting the aims of sustainability.

Fairtrade advocates the payment of a higher price to exporters as well as higher social and environmental standards and focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries. Exports from Fairtrade countries include:

  • Handicrafts
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Sugar
  • Tea
  • Bananas
  • Honey
  • Cotton
  • Wine
  • Fresh fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Flowers
  • Gold

Many of the above products are available in most supermarkets. Look out for the Fairtrade logo on the packaging. More information on the Fairtrade movement and it’s work can be found on the following link: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/

For this years World Fairtrade Day, children were asked to show links between their own lives and those of a child in another country.

The winning entry was designed by Rohan Praveen who is 8 years old and from St William of York School.

image: Fair Trade Poster

Rohan’s poster was chosen from over 100 entries from schools throughout the borough, and we loved it for it’s inspiring slogan “Nature Asks Us To Be Fair!”

The photograph below is of Rohan with the recycling vehicle which now carries his winning design and can be seen driving around the borough on weekdays collecting and emptying recycling bins. Well done to Rohan!

Image: Rohan Praveen with Recycling Vehicle