Taking Action

The first thing you need to do is spread the message within school and get everyone on board. How you do this will depend on your school. You might want to put up a display in reception, go into assemblies or hold an event to tell people about the project and what they can do to help. Make sure senior management and governors are kept informed too.

Then it’s time to start to balance the scales. There are two ways you can do this.
 

Reduce your school’s carbon footprint

 
There is loads of information and support available to schools for this. Do you encourage students to walk or cycle to school? Have you got a school garden? Does your canteen promote locally grown food? Have you got recycling bins? Do you celebrate World Environment Day? You might want to consider working towards the Eco-schools Award
 
Get in touch with your local authority and see what support they can offer you. Don’t forget to look at what you can learn from your partner school. 
Get in touch with your local authority and see what support they can offer you. Don’t forget to look at what you can learn from your partner school.
 

Compensate your partner school

Secondly, consider how you can compensate your partner schools – this may be with money, or through the provision of services or equipment. Find out what their priorities are and think sustainably. There will still be a place for fundraising but it is important to stress that this is not charity, it's about paying for what we owe – that’s the difference and it could be a difficult concept for some people to get used to!
 
Look at our Case Studies and Resources to see how other schools have made a difference.
 
 

Looking Beyond the Calculations

It is important to explore the reasons for the difference in the size of your footprints. 

A good starting point is to look at an average day in each school. What are the similarities and differences? Maybe you have photos or video from your partner school to demonstrate this, or a teacher or student who has visited the school. Why not produce a short film or photo story of a typical school day focusing on energy usage to share with your partner school?
What can we learn from each other?