With Environment Week fast approaching, there is no better time to start appreciating boy-led environmental initiatives taking place around the School. This year has been especially successful for E@E (Environment at Eton) with the continuation of an Environmental Bookclub, the founding of an Environmental Podcast Club and the development of The Florentina alongside the achievement of two school teams in securing positions as Earth Prize Scholars 2023.

One of the first Environment Week events planned (commencing on Sunday 21 May) is the ‘Plogging for Wildlife’ event organised by Joseph W, Harry M, Alexander L and Mr Michel. Travelling approximately 900 miles from its Swedish heritage, plogging has managed to reach us at Eton. If you haven’t heard of it, plogging is the act of combining jogging with an environmental litter pick – the organisers of this charity event chose plogging because they “wanted to remove the stigma around litter picking by making it a competitive and social event.” For the small fee of £5, one can keep both themselves and the environment healthy and there is also a further incentive provided in the form of £200 worth of prizes to be won by those who take part! Furthermore, all funds raised will go to the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), an environmental charity that works to protect wildlife in our locality. You can donate to their fundraising page here.

Later the same week there is going to be a ‘Model COP’ – courtesy of Gagan S and Freddie W. The Model COP will take place on Tuesday 23 May when Eton will welcome three guest speakers alongside our partnership schools to the Jafar Hall for a series of talks followed by open debate. Each speaker will talk for 30 minutes followed by an open debate inspired by the format of the Model UN, wherein students will have to engage with the questions from the point of view of their allocated country. The purpose of the Model COP is to “raise awareness of the environmental problems faced by society today whilst also inspiring and promoting solutions for the future.”

More recently, Robin D-P has implemented his idea for sustainable plastic bag alternatives within his House. Having noticed that many High Street shops don’t offer environmentally friendly alternatives to their disposable (often single-use) plastic bags, Robin D-P swiftly set about trying to find a solution to the problem. After considerable research, he realised that organic cotton bags would be the best long-term solution as the cotton took little water to grow and the bags would be long-lasting. These bags, once made, were left for the communal use of the boys in his House. This initiative has been a great success, with many using these cotton alternatives to their plastic counterparts!