Eton’s Environmental Action (EEA) group meets several times a week and organises events around the school during the academic year, including our Summer term focus on ‘Environment Week’. Aiming to involve more pupils around the College, and raise awareness of the need for climate action, the Environment Representatives scheme was launched in 2015 by Ms Hicks, who works closely with Mademoiselle Herbommez to co-ordinate the numerous environmental programmes at Eton.
Our ‘Environment Reps’ act as a voice for pupils in their House and are selected through a rigorous interview process. They present opinions and thoughts from members of their boarding Houses at the pupils’ committee meetings twice a term. The ideas presented are then discussed and often actioned, helping to ensure that progress is made in all areas of school life, from the canteen in Bekynton to gardening processes out on the fields. Mademoiselle Herbommez has often found ‘there is so much positive change going on around the College, but many pupils just aren’t aware of it, and this initiative is helping to change that.’
One of the EEA’s aims has been to raise awareness of the need for climate action, alongside engaging students to innovate by themselves. Cosmo Le B, Keeper of Environmental Action, told the Press Office, ‘As we’ve just seen at COP26 there is so much still to do to combat the climate crisis, but we must also be positive about what we are already achieving. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom.’ The Environment Reps are a key part of this, helping to spread news of the initiatives currently being undertaken at the College, such as our annual ‘Spring Clean’, as well as working together with peers to think creatively to develop new and imaginative ideas.
Six years after its inception, the EEA is very much embedded into day-to-day life at Eton, with at least one pupil from each House being appointed as a representative. Recently, much more interest has been expressed in the programme, often with a senior pupil being joined by a junior pupil. They act as ambassadors for the environment, influencing sustainable practices in their Houses and the wider school. Ultimately, it is hoped that these pupils will be inspired to change their actions, change the actions of their peers and spread awareness of the challenges we are facing.