Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Ringmer College Races Ahead with Green Initiatives

Ringmer Community College in Sussex has been busy since winning an award from us in June 2008. They were recently awarded with a 4th green flag for their impressive energy-saving activities in the College, led by the well-named eco coordinator Stephen Green. Other plans that include a sponsored green car race are making the school an inspiring model for others to follow.

Receiving green flag status is the highest Eco Schools accolade a British school can win, "This is the 4th year running for us. Our success was largely down to simple but effective measures like vigilant energy monitoring and energy saving around the school" says Stephen Green.

Thanks to prize money from the Ashden Awards, students can now closely track the energy use of the College’s ground source heat pump with an easy to view monitor in the Sixth Form building entrance and science labs.

The growing profile the college has enjoyed since winning the Award, has also helped Ringmer secure new support from the County Council which will enable them to install a new biomass boiler later this year. This will burn wood chip, a sustainable fuel. The college will then be able to boast yet another renewable energy source to add to its solar panel display, wind turbine and ground source heat pump.

The College was recently chosen as a pilot school by the County Council to work with researchers on new insulation measures. To make this crucial energy measure more engaging for the pupils, they plan to use Perspex panels in the ceiling to show different types of traditional and modern insulation – from sheep’s wool to high tech fabrics - and even use human hair from a sponsored hair cut!

On June 6th the College will hold a fun-packed Green Car Grand Prix with several local primary schools. Using electric cars supplied by Green Power Goblin Cars, the children will make and drive the cars themselves to test their endurance and technical prowess, and learn about fuel efficiency, efficient driving habits etc. Some of the Ashden prize money is going to this exciting event, with an Ashden trophy going to the winner.

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