Greening at Bradbury

Bradbury School is working towards becoming a certified Green School. The Hong Kong Green Schools Award encourages young people to engage in their environment and students are given the opportunity to actively protect it. The programme combines learning through hands on experiences which involve the whole community, seeks to improve the environmental footprint of the school, challenges students to take action against environmental issues and cultivates a sustainable mindset. Students and staff are encouraged to connect globally with other Green Schools and use the practices learned in their daily lives.

Tab 1: Sustainability Policy

Bradbury School operates in accordance with the Hong Kong Sustainable Schools Charter and the Bradbury Sustainability Policy.

Hong Kong Sustainable Schools Charter

Bradbury Sustainability Policy (Draft)

Tab 2: School Environment

Bradbury school aims to increase direct exposure to the natural environment through living walls and plants around the school campus which help to connect the indoor and outdoor environments. In addition to the benefits of helping to reduce anxiety, producing oxygen and beautifying the school environment, the green walls help to ensure a positive learning and working experience for our students and staff.

Cleaning products

The Year 1 students took action and made their own cleaning products from everyday kitchen ingredients and then tested them out in the Y4 classrooms.

Energy Monitors

What is a Year 5 Energy Monitor?

Energy monitors are people who collect data from different classes about how much energy we’re using.

Why do we collect data ?

If we collect this data we can show the school how much energy we are using and we hope they will stop using that much energy by switching things off.

How else can we find out how much Energy Bradbury is using?

There is also this website called Entrak that shows how much energy the whole school is using every day and every week. In term 3, Y5 gave presentations to all the year groups in the school about how much energy we are using and we also gave a presentation to the cleaners about how to use the aircons more efficiently.

What can we do?

In Year 5 we’re spreading awareness of how much energy we use in the school. We’ve given presentations to classes about how they can save energy and turn appliances off. We have also made an air con guide on how to use the remote control better to save energy.

Solar Panels

The rooftop at Bradbury has been converted into a space dedicated to generating energy using solar panels through an initiative provided to schools by China Light and Power and the EDB. This space although is off-limits to students on a regular basis, is integrated into class activities to raise awareness among the students as well as the staff on our dedication to renewable energy at Bradbury. The flexi solar panels produce around 50 kW-hr of energy and will be fed back into the grid.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 1000L water tank was donated to the school by a parent in the 2014-2015 school year. Positioned on the 1st floor to give us sufficient water pressure, it was connected to existing piping to collect water from the 2nd floor playground. Tap fittings also lead from the tank down to the lower ground play area to allow students and members of the Eco Dudes to water the plants in the nearby greenhouse and in the Lower Playground gardens at snack and lunch times.

Additionally, site staff use this water for cleaning and hosing of outside surfaces to reduce the school’s water use.

Cable ties on washroom taps

Aside from large infrastructure, more passive methods of water conservation are also applied in daily life at Bradbury. So cable ties were put on taps around the school to minimise water consumption. These ties not only conserve water usage by simply using less at a time, but are also effective in raising student awareness into saving water at Bradbury.

Organic waste collection

The Year 6 ‘peelies’ collect the leftover food waste from various locations and classrooms around the school once a week. This is then deposited into our large rotating compost bins which convert our leftover food waste into sustainable fertiliser that is then put back into our gardens or sold to the community.

Additionally, Year 6 Exhibition students raised money for the school to buy a food waste machine as a result of their inquiry into food waste in Hong Kong. The machine turns food scraps into garden compost in just 24 hours and is energy efficient. This compost has been used to fertilise our plants in the new Lower Playground garden and to enhance the soil in the greenhouse.

This machine is helping us to reduce our waste!

HK Recycles collection

Our recycling at Bradbury is supported by HK Recycles, which is a collection service that provides an accountable recycling solution to residences, offices, and buildings in Hong Kong. Currently Bradbury recycles various plastics, metal, glass and paper. A comprehensive recycling report is produced on a monthly or quarterly basis. In addition to providing quantitative information on volume and breakdown by recyclable type, further information can be provided by floor/building/unit. These reports also allow us to contextualise the impact we are making as a community through meaningful comparisons, such as the number of roundtrip flights avoided in terms of carbon emissions.

The latest recycling report can be found on the Bradbury app.

Tab 3: Environmental Practices

Eco-Dudes Plant Sales

Bradbury holds plant sales where Eco Dude student’s sell seedlings and herbs to the members of our community. These plants are grown from seeds and cuttings by the students around our school grounds which helps them to see the importance of nurturing flora and fauna. The money raised by the students then goes back into purchasing plants and seedlings to enhance our school environment.

Action Agents

Year 6 Action Agents are involved in the push towards zero waste at Bradbury too! We have started recycling Tetra Pak-style cartons, but the collection system requires the cartons to be prepared in a particular way in order to be recycled properly. The Action Agents have taken on this role in the recycling process and prepare these cartons on a regular basis. This initiative being taken by the Action Agents also works towards attaining their United World Citizenship Bronze Badge Program.

These Tetra Pak-style cartons are sent to a local facility Mil Mill to be recycled once a month in collaboration with Plastic Free Seas. We also welcome members from the community to bring their cartons from home to be collected by Bradbury.

Year 4 gardeners

In Year 4, students have developed an existing garden space on the 2nd Floor with the guidance of Ms. Van der Vossen to understand the process of “field-to-table”. This project extends beyond the Unit of Inquiry to explore food recycling and plant matter to allow students to understand the concept of sustainability within the context of our school environment. Students gain hands on experiences with different methods of plant reproduction including the full life cycle of a plant and other propagation methods. Furthermore, students help maintain the garden during school day under the guidance of Ms. Van der Vossen. Eventually the students can harvest the vegetables and herbs being grown.

Lunchtime gardening

In January of DATE, an enclosed greenhouse was purchased for an unused area of the school on the Lower Playground. Students will be able to monitor and maintain small seedlings in this area independently and with help from our water tank, they will be able to use recycled water to water and care for the plants.

In January of DATE, an enclosed greenhouse was purchased for an unused area of the school on the Lower Playground. Students will be able to monitor and maintain small seedlings in this area independently and with help from our water tank, they will be able to use recycled water to water and care for the plants.

Community gardening days

The Bradbury Community Gardening Days are where we invite keen members of the community into school to grow seasonal produce/ herbs/ flowers, help develop our existing green walls and landscapes, and have an opportunity to do some satisfying, hands on work.

The community gardening days are a great opportunity for community members to interact and have a chat, exchange ideas, and learn a few things from our on-site arborist/gardener who works alongside us too!

Environmental & Sustainability ESF curriculum meetings

Through regular meetings held with like minded coordinators across the ESF schools, the group aims to:

  • Raise awareness of environmental and sustainability issues and lead and support the practice which addresses these issues.
  • To create coherency and consistency in the strategic direction which leads to sustainable practice and education across the foundation.

Zero Waste

Bradbury is committed to becoming a zero waste school through proper waste separation and treatment through various local NGO’s dedicated to recycling waste. We strive to make these collaborations transparent and encourage students to take part in these initiatives as much as possible. Additionally, there are no general waste bins on site to discourage students from bringing single use plastic to school. Single use plastic that is brought into school is brought back home to raise such awareness.

Recyclable plastic is collected based on the resin identification code and along with our glass, metal, and paper is sent to HK Recycles, which is a local collection service that provides performance reports and guarantees none of it ends in landfills.

Additionally, all of our organic waste is put into our compost bins, where the resulting compost is used in our gardens. (See School Environment – Organic waste collection for more info).

Our paper and cardboard recycling is handled by the Baguio Green Group, which is a waste management and recycling company that works closely with the Hong Kong government to develop sustainable solutions to waste collection and treatment. They own and operate a sorting and recycling site with an area of 35,000 sq. ft. in Fanling with 4 shredding machines which can destroy various materials (i.e. papers, metals, woods, glasses, plastics, etc.).

Indoor air quality

Bradbury has a variety of air purification plants in each classroom to help with producing clean oxygen. As buildings become more insulated and efficient, they also make it easier to trap indoor air pollutants. After researching the plants suggested by NASA as the most effective air filters, Bradbury has created planters for each of the classrooms and shared areas containing Dracaenas, Peace Lilies, Snake plants and spider plants. Not only do the plants clean the air they make our classrooms look great.

Battery recycling

Rechargeable batteries contain materials that can be hazardous to people and the environment. They also contain valuable materials that can be recovered for use in other products, such as magnetic alloy and stainless steel. Did you know, most rechargeable batteries only have a shelf life of 1.5 years!
Here are some everyday products that may contain rechargeable batteries:

  • Mobile Phones
  • MP3/MD Players
  • Cordless Phones
  • Portable CD/VCD/DVD Players
  • Electronic Dictionaries
  • Digital Cameras
  • Video Cameras
  • Shavers
  • Portable Computers
  • Power Tools
  • Electronic Game sets

Batteries for other equipment not listed above are also suitable for recycling, provided they are portable rechargeable batteries.

How to recycle:

Recycling rechargeable batteries is FREE. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the rechargeable battery from the equipment/device.
  2. Cover the battery terminal with masking tape. This is a safety precaution to prevent contact between terminals or other metal surfaces during storage and transport. Do not put damaged rechargeable batteries into the collection boxes. For batteries that are vulnerable to damage, put them in a reusable bag (e.g. reuse the packaging of new batteries) and seal them with adhesive tape before depositing.
  3. Bring your batteries to the Bradbury School office anytime for recycling.

Reusing and recycling old school supplies

Getting ready for back to school doesn’t involve lots of shopping for ‘new stuff’. First, we take stock of what we already have.

Next, sort through what the students used the previous year and see if any supplies can be reused for the upcoming year.

At the end of the school year we collect any returned school supplies, both used and unused. We ask students to help “clean and sort their classroom stationery supplies” first, before they return them to the resource room. After cleaning and sorting the rest, they are ready for the next school year. This can help bring the awareness and practice the idea of being “Eco Friendly”.

Once we have completed our inventory of existing school supplies that can be reused, we then set the shopping list for the new year.

Purchasing Eco Friendly School Supplies. What we look for:

  • Products with minimal or recyclable packaging.
  • Products made from recycled, organic, natural, and non-toxic materials.
  • Products with Eco Friendly labels (eg, Fair Trade, FSC).
  • Products made by brands with a reputation for sustainability.
  • Products that are durable and last for years.
  • Consider purchasing second-hand products.
  • Avoid disposable items, particularly disposable items made from plastic.
  • Products that have lesser carbon footprint on transportation.
    “Longer travel distance the higher CO2 emissions“