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Schools are gearing up for The Climate Action Countdown – starting 7 June

It’s nearly time for 29 days of fun, inclusive, inspiring schools’ climate action!  

Schools around the UK are invited to sign up to the most exciting collaborative and fun climate event for schools to take place this year – The Climate Action Countdown. Four weeks of climate action activities and events will take place from 7 June to 5 July 2024 – helping to inspire and engage students with fun activities related to reducing their own and their schools’ carbon footprints and protecting nature.  

30 climate charities are coming together – as part of the Let’s Go Zero campaign, which supports schools to be zero carbon by 2030 – to create a month of climate action events.  

From holding uniform swap shops, spotlighting green careers, vertical gardening, building bug houses, active travel adventures, petitioning and sustainability bingo there is something for everyone and every school to get involved with. 

Photo: Children and parents participate in activities to celebrate the end of green week, including black smithing, building and filling bug hotels. Mending toys that had minor faults, making ink pens from recycled tin cans. Foraging for sticks to load into Bugginham Pallace. Credit: Mark Chilvers and The Climate Coalition 
Alex Green, Head of Let’s Go Zero says: “This is going to be an amazing month of climate action which will inspire and involve schools around the country. All the activities are fun and it’s a really eclectic pick-and-mix range of things to do – from singing to writing manifestos.” 

“You can take part as a whole school, or do the activities as a class, eco-club, or individual student. catering teams, caretakers and other staff can also help their school get involved. And we’d love home schoolers to join us too. By doing these fun and engaging activities, schools can take the first steps on their journey to being zero carbon. We know that the Countdown will inspire even more schools to be part of the growing Let’s Go Zero campaign, working to help all UK schools be zero carbon by 2030.”   

Group activities like this are also important for mental health and reducing climate anxiety among children and young people, says Ms Green.  

“According to a survey by mental health charity Place2Be, 43% of children (8-16yrs) have worried about climate change / the environment in the last 3 months*. We know that positive action is what helps children stop worrying and engage with what can be very overwhelming information about climate. So this month will provide a whole range of ideas about how to act positively, improve schools, protect the environment, and get students outside enjoying nature.”  

There will be a special ‘Eco-anxiety’ guidance to teachers on how to talk about climate change with students to make them feel more confident about their future while addressing the facts.  

To launch the Climate Action Countdown month schools can use an assembly plan to introduce the month to their students. 

Lee Hughes, Chief Operating Officer from Peterborough Diocese Education Trust, said:  

“The Climate Action Countdown is an outstanding opportunity for our school communities to come together and show leadership in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and act positively on the government’s climate change strategy for education.  

“As a Multi Academy Trust of 33 Church of England primary schools, we aspire to act now, engaging our staff, children and communities to make sustainable changes. No action is too small, and we want to encourage our schools to embrace the climate challenge and show that positive steps can be taken, even with really old estates! We will be asking our schools to join together this summer and working with our partners, the Let’s Go Zero coalition, to engage with the Climate Action Countdown.” 

Schools and communities will be able to access a range of free Climate Action Countdown resources – including activity packs, assemblies, music videos, posters, quizzes, worksheets and a calendar of daily inspiration. Suggested activities to choose from including learning the SOS For the Earth song, enjoying a plant-based picnic on National Picnic Day, setting up a Pop-Up Clothes Swap Shop, or holding a talking session on eco-anxiety. 

Photo: The Climate Action Countdown resources. 

Nearly 3000 schools are signed up to Let’s Go Zero and are supported by coalition members which include WWF, Surfers Against Sewage, Eco-Schools, Global Action Plan, Sustrans, The Tree Council and WRAP, all of which have created activity days during the month and providing resources for schools. Climate Action Experts are also available to come to schools and deliver assemblies. 

Sign up to the Climate Action Countdown here then share your climate activities by tagging @letsgo_zero on social media and using the hashtag #ClimateActionCountdown. 

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