Schools across the South West and beyond are being given the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact and become carbon neutral by 2023 thanks to an initiative from JUST ONE Tree and Let’s Go Zero.     

Schools are being actively encouraged to hold a JUST ONE Tree Day on Friday 15 October, raising funds to reverse deforestation and provide species with safe habitats to increase biodiversity. For each £1 children raise on the day, a tree is planted on behalf of the children in one of seven different countries: Madagascar, Mozambique, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Haiti and Zambia. While some of the trees will be restoring wildlife habitat in Madagascar, others will be helping as coastal storm barriers in Haiti or in Kenyan schools helping to teach the children the local and global importance of protecting their environment.

In addition – 3p from every £1 raised also helps the kelp regeneration project off the coast of the Philippines and Australia. 

To date, over 420 schools have signed-up to partner with JUST ONE Tree, including Oldfield Park Junior School and the Royal High Prep in Bath, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Corsham, Seend Church of England Primary School and Kingsbury Green Academy in Calne. The result is that close to a million trees have been planted at a rate of one every 53 seconds.

Among the fundraising activities enjoyed by schools taking part in the project are –

– non-uniform day.

– wear something green day.

– ‘Grow Your Own Forest Challenge’ where children pay £1 to place a tree on a poster of a deforested area, so they can watch their school manages to plant a forest.

– Wear something animal print.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Let’s Go Zero’s national campaign calling for government backing for zero carbon schools,” said Amanda Bronkhorst, founder of JUST ONE Tree. “We’re asking parents to encourage their children’s school to host a JUST ONE Tree Day and be part of a global movement empowering children in making a real difference for a greener future.

“Forests are the lungs of the planet, cleaning the air and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. On average, a tree absorbs 48lbs of carbon dioxide per year and it’s estimated forests can provide 30% of the solution to keeping rising global temperatures below 2°C. Tree planting is vital for the future of our planet and JUST ONE Tree Day is a way for children to take direct action in protecting their own future. The ‘children’s forest’ already stands at over 150,000 trees; we’re thrilled to be joining with Let’s Go Zero this year to help grow it even further.”

Alex Green, Project Manager for Let’s Go Zero, added, “We love the work that JUST ONE Tree does with schools – it really helps children to learn about the link between local and global actions, and that they can make a difference. We look forward to seeing lots of Let’s Go Zero schools signing up to take part in JUST ONE Tree Day this year!”

For more details about how to take part, visit https://letsgozero.org/