Edgeborough interviews local MP, Jeremy Hunt, on climate change

Edgeborough is proud to have been awarded the prestigious Eco-Schools top Green Flag Award in March 2020 and interviews Jeremy Hunt, local MP, on Climate Change including the impact in Farnham  

Luke Gower-Jones

Edgeborough Eco Committee Chair, Luke Gower-Jones, a Year 6 pupil invited Jeremy Hunt to discuss climate change including the impact in Farnham.  Mr Hunt sent Luke a video message with ideas that strongly relate to Edgeborough school’s own eco-initiatives. 

  1. What is the Government doing to help climate change? 

Jeremy Hunt: “The Government has committed to have a net zero economy by 2050 and is the first country to put this in law. It’s not just what the government does, it is what we do as individuals.  Probably the biggest thing I do to help the environment is I cycle to work. But we need to an awful lot more, and this includes trying to use re-usable mugs rather than disposable coffee cups.  The small things matter when it comes to the environment.” 

Luke comments: “At Edgeborough we are passionate about renewable energy and reducing waste. We designed and produced sustainable, bamboo coffee cups for purchase to replace throw-away plastic ones.  We made 144 and they have all sold out, bought by staff and parents. The money raised funds other Eco-initiatives.    In terms of energy,100% of Edgeborough’s electricity is now from renewable sources thanks to our new solar panels.”  

  1. What is the government doing to reduce the amount of waste in the UK? 

Jeremy Hunt: “The government promotes recycling as much as it can. Over 50% of my waste is recycled, but we can do even better and all do our bit to buy fewer items that will eventually be put into landfill.” 

Luke comments: “Last year we achieved 100% success in eliminating the use of the school’s output of single-use plastics. All catering polystyrene (cups and plates) have been replaced by fully compostable equivalents used including paper bags for packed lunches. Saving: 20,500 units a year.    

Edgeborough has just initiated the recycling Terracyle Project: Both school & local communities are encouraged to recycle common household products at allocated public drop-off points in school. Terracycle provide the bins and donate money for items collected. We have also collected over 10,000 batteries so far to help the environment and have House Competitions to reduce food waste.”

  1. The next question is about air pollution… 

Jeremy Hunt: “Air pollution is very relevant for a town like Farnham where we are breaching the legal limits in 3 places.  Since lockdown there has been a massive reduction in pollution and we want the centre of Farnham to be pollution free and great for people who want to do their shopping on foot and cycle into town.  I would like to see a number of streets in the town centre of Farnham fully pedestrianised.” 

“We are keen to reduce air pollution around Edgeborough and have been monitoring air quality.  We decided to focus on car carbon emissions and designed posters to turn engines off in the car park. A rolling pick-up/ drop-off system was introduced to keep cars flowing. We have had a 100% success rate with all engines now turned off when parked. 50% fewer cars parking and waiting.  

We have also set up a new Gardening Club focused on encouraging wildlife, pollinating insects (new meadow) and growing fruits/vegetables and a new Eco-Club to see what new ideas we can come up with in the future.”  

  1. What is the government doing for the future to help the environment? 

Jeremy Hunt: “Two very big things: 

  1. We need to make sure that jobs for the future are Green jobs in the Green industries eg. Jobs in life sciences, technology, developing vaccines for example 
  1. Change the way we travel.  The Government has committed to no petrol cars being sold in the UK after 2040, making way for only electric cars that will reduce carbon emissions. 

But it isn’t just the government, it is what all of us do in our daily lives, at home with our families.  We all have to play our part.  Thank you for what you are doing and Good Luck!” 

Luke: “We are excited and passionate about the change we are making at Edgeborough. As Mr Hunt says, everyone must play their part and if all schools in the community help with small steps, it could have a big impact in Farnham.  I would like to thank Mr Hunt for his video that has really encouraged us to do more and think even bigger. I can’t wait to get going with our new gardening club and come up with new ideas.”