Pupils at St Peter's RC Primary School in Morningside take on Net Zero Challenge with vegetable garden and smart recycling

Pupils at a Morningside school are doing their bit to tackle climate change by growing their own vegetables and recycling waste.
With a pumpkin grown in their eco-garden are Max Malaszuk (with pumpkin), and fellow P5 pupils (from left):  Cormac Cheape, Max Kelly and Scarlet Durkan .With a pumpkin grown in their eco-garden are Max Malaszuk (with pumpkin), and fellow P5 pupils (from left):  Cormac Cheape, Max Kelly and Scarlet Durkan .
With a pumpkin grown in their eco-garden are Max Malaszuk (with pumpkin), and fellow P5 pupils (from left): Cormac Cheape, Max Kelly and Scarlet Durkan .

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Children at St Peter’s RC Primary School have grown pumpkins, apples and other seasonal produce in the school’s vegetable garden, which have since been used to make muffins, chutney and soups.

Any food waste from the school is also then turned into compost for the vegetable garden to nurture new crops. Non-recyclable plastic materials, such as crisp packets and snack wrappers, are turned into ‘ecobricks’ which can be joined together to make furniture or structures for gardens and play parks.

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Teacher Catherine McCabe, who helps lead St Peter’s sustainable activities, said: “Taking steps to be more sustainable and cutting our carbon footprint has become part of daily life at school.

“It’s really inspiring to see the children getting so hands-on at this age and developing such good habits they can carry through their lives and, along the way, inspire others in the city to do their bit to take action on climate change.”

The school has been taking on the challenge to show support for the city’s 2030 net zero target.

And by doing so, it has inspired the council to launch its own Net Zero Challenge, which is calling on residents and businesses to follow suit.

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Those wishing to take part can visit netzeroedinburgh.org for information on how to calculate their carbon footprint and how home heating and power could be more energy efficient. It also features ideas on how residents can make a difference, including choosing public transport, cycling or walking, and thinking about what and where you buy items from.

Cammy Day, depute leader of the council, said: “Hitting Edinburgh’s net zero target by 2030 is something that everyone who lives and works in the city will need to play their part in. That’s why it’s really great to see the pupils at St Peter’s leading the way on climate action within their school as small changes do add up as we all do something different.

“That’s why we’ve launched the Net Zero Challenge as a quick and easy way to find out how you can help make a difference and create a cleaner, greener city. Because we all have a responsibility to act now and play our part in protecting our city for generations to come.”

Adam McVey, council leader, added: “Edinburgh’s young people are strongly advocating for change and explaining why we need to tackle climate change to secure their future. We know our residents and businesses understand the need to change to get to net-zero.

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“Awareness of climate change and the impacts on our city has never been higher, but we know from recent climate consultations that some people are still unsure of where they can start taking action.

“With COP26 taking place in Scotland, this is the perfect opportunity for all of us across our Capital to work together and take steps to cut our emissions. By all working together we can make a difference and hit net-zero by 2030 and secure the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Anyone taking part in the challenge can show off their efforts by using #MyClimateAction on social media.

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