Young people and the Global Goals

Why are young people important to the Goals? There are 1.8 billion people aged 10 – 24 in the world, the largest youth population in history. Young people can be a powerful in holding their governments accountable to their Global Goals promise by speaking publicly in their support for the Goals now, buying from businesses that are working to support the Goals (and challenging those that are not) and through their voting power in the near future. Young people can also use their education to take specific action in support of the Goals. They can invent, they can innovate and they can campaign for causes or to solve problems that they care about.
Choosing one Goal to support is a good way to start, and to take specific action. However, all the Goals are interlinked, so by supporting one Goal your actions will have positive impacts on other Goals. For example, promoting gender equality (Goal 5) in your school will help support a growing economy (Goal 8) and quality education for all (Goal 4).

Kirkwall's Last Straw

Class 6/7 at Glaitness School have been learning about sustainability and how what we consume affects the environment. After a hard look at our own global footprints and a reminder of how plastics affect the oceans they have decided to follow in the fantastic footsteps of Ullapool Primary School whose initiative 'Nae Straw At Aw' has resulted in Ullapool becoming the first single use plastic straw free village in Scotland. Class 6 have written to lots of hotels, bars and cafes to ask if they will end their use of single use plastic straws and offer a paper alternative,or no straw at all, to their customers. They have sent them a poster to display so that they can share their decision to take part in the initiative called  'Kirkwall's Last Straw' with their customers and they are hoping that the businesses will let them know they are taking part by leaving a comment on this post on the Pick Up Three Pieces Facebook page.
Hear the Radio Orkney interview with the children in this link at about 10:20.

In their own school the children have decided time is up for juice cartons with straws attached, single use plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery and plates, and styrofoam cups. They are now hoping that they can convince other schools to take up the challenge and get rid of any remaining plastics and have written to Orkney Islands Council to see if they can help make it happen across all schools in the county.

Bagging the Bruck in The Falkland Islands

Our friend Mr Ross has shared a video of himself bagging the bruck in The Falkland Islands where he is teaching at the moment. It looks very much as if the litter there is the same stuff as we are picking up in Orkney, and there is plenty of it unfortunately.

We hope we can make a difference this year both by picking up and removing marine litter and encouraging everyone not to use disposable plastics.

Protecting our Water

As we approach this year's Bag the Bruck it is useful to remind ourselves of our role in the water cycle. This short animation helps us reflect on the choices we can make and the effects they can have.

Bagging the Bruck in 2016

This year's bruck bagging season has got off to a great start - Glaitness pupils have started cleaning up their local area. Groups of classes have been  litter picking at The Peedie Sea, Scapa beach and the local paths and areas around the school.

At The Peedie Sea

Team work at Scapa

42 bags!

Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero of the Month Award

This month children at glaitness School had a lovely surprise when the whole school was nominated and won the national Keep Scotland Beautiful 'Hero of the Month Award' for their Pick Up Three Pieces work. Just in time to give them a boost as they prepare for 'Bag the Bruck'!

The Mission Explore group who lead the Pick Up Three Pieces initiative with the award.

Pick Up Three PIeces began at Glaitness School and we have worked hard to keep it going and to try to get the whole Orkney community and visitors to Orkney involved. Our islands act like a net catching a lot of the litter that is in the oceans. Once a year we have a big clean up but this is no longer enough. With every tide and storm more rubbish gets dumped on our beaches. If everybody picked up a few pieces every time they go to the beach or shore  throughout the year we can make a difference. Even just picking up one piece might save an anilaml from eating it or getting tangled in it and drowning. The ocean is full of plastic which doesn't break down, it breaks up into tinier and tinier pieces which eventually end up in our food chain too.

Most litter in the sea comes from the land. We work hard to make sure liiter in our playground doeas not end up in the sea. We regularly use our litter pickers to pick up litter in our school grounds and around our local area.  We have put stickers on bins near our school to try to encourage everyone to join in. At some of the beaches there is a big bin with a sticker on it which asks people to Pick Up Three PIeces and gives them some facts about the problem of marine litter.

Orkney Islands Council helps us by emptying the bins, but the people who make it a success are all the people who pick up some pieces of litter. We think when they see us do it they will feel they can do it too and will get into good habits about how they look after their rubbish and how much disposable plastic they buy and how much rubbish they create and how they look after their own rubbish too

The children have said:

'When you are finished tidying up an area and you look round it and its clean you feel proud of yourself and happy with what you have done.'

'We feel like we are making a difference to animals' lives and the environment'

'Every time you pick up three pieces you are saving some birds or animals.'

Bag the Bruck 2015

This week all around Orkney community groups, schools and individuals are removing tons of litter from our beaches, shores and verges - most of which is plastic.

 Go litter warriors!