Best in Britain! That’s how the green activities of students at Keighley College have been ranked by a national charity.
Planet Earth Games invited colleges across the UK, each led by their own ‘climate champion’ students, to organise all kinds of environmentally-focused events in early 2023.
Keighley College rose to the challenge by producing everything from an indoor greenhouse, made of recycled bottles and timber offcuts, to a suit of armour welded together from pieces of waste metal.
Those efforts impressed the judges so much that the college has just been named the overall winner of Planet Earth Games – Colleges.
Student Engagement Officer Cristopher Nichols, who coordinated activities at Keighley College, said: “I’m so proud of our students who did a simply brilliant job of fulfilling the competition’s brief.
“They produced some great pieces of work that really highlighted a range of environmental issues and in some cases, such as the indoor greenhouse, will be put to practical use to help us grow our own fruit and vegetables.
“They also got involved in very worthwhile activities like running our sustainable ‘pay-what-you-can’ shop, which is stocked with donated, good quality clothes to help students with the cost of living crisis.
“Their fantastic efforts made them worthy overall winners of this important award.”
Each college was asked to organise events based around seven sustainable themes – carbon reduction, connecting to nature, food, waste reduction, conservation, energy and travel.
They then had to submit entries describing each of their activities. Keighley’s submission for its indoor greenhouse, for example, stated: “The greenhouse is made completely from upcycled and recycled materials from the college.
“The project will help many students and staff lower their carbon emissions by planting fresh fruits and vegetables, and flowers, for the college to use.”
Student Dylan Worsnop, meanwhile, used bits of leftover metal from his Fabrication and Welding course to produce – with help from tutor Simon Davison – his Spartan-style body armour and shield.
Inspired by his admiration for the Spartan helmet, the project started with the headpiece and then grew until Dylan ended up creating the whole outfit.
Reflecting on the competition win, Keighley College Principal Kevin O’Hare said: “This is a testament to the passion our students have for protecting the environment, and to their creativity.
“The sheer variety of the projects they were involved in was so impressive, as was the fact that they were focused on being accessible to all and really involving the college community.
“Their efforts have really shone a light on our college and our commitment to sustainable action, which includes a commitment to becoming net zero* by 2035. We’re looking forward to being presented with the Bamboo Trophy for this victory, and will be displaying it proudly on campus.”
Planet Earth Games was delighted at the nationwide response to the event – which resulted in nearly 18,000 different sustainable actions. Posting on social media, it said that its expert judging panel had been ‘blown away’ by the quality of the submissions.
The competition was hosted in partnership with Association of Colleges – Sport and Pearson BTEC Sport and Physical Activity.