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The Eco iLeader student group have been out in all weathers and conducted seven litter picks in and around the external school site since September.

The group also made a pledge to pick for Keep Britain Tidy's 'Great British Spring Clean' campaign which ran from 25th March to 10th April, where two picks were completed resulting in twenty bags of litter alone!

To keep not only the school site tidy but also make an impact on the surrounding area, the Eco group and some Post-16 students have picked litter along the school fences by the roadside and nearby areas.

On Sunday 10th April, all four nominees, including the winner, for the 12-18 age category of the Ilkley Litter Picker of the Year 2021 were IGS students! 'The Two Georges' are well known in the litter picker community for their many efforts as a part of the 'Friends of Riverside Gardens' group. Eco iLeader member Ellis has worked hard to ensure regular litter picking is conducted at school by the group and Alexander was a thoroughly deserved winner who has previously set the wheels in motion for a village-wide litter-picking group in Burley, leading to the creation of the Wharfedale Wombles. Alexander's charity of choice for the prizemoney was the Burley-in-Wharfedale Community Trust. Well done to Alexander and our other IGS nominees - as well as all the other nominees and winners of this new award!

Here's what some of our members have said about being in the Eco-iLeader group:

"I personally enjoy Eco-ileaders a lot because of all the fun and interesting activities we take part in - but I enjoy it even more when I know that as a group, we’re playing our role in making the school more environmentally friendly.

I’ve also enjoyed doing litter picks after school where we’ve made the school look nicer by removing the rubbish but have also helped protect many animal habitats by removing pieces of litter which may be seen as food to them. But we can’t keep on litter picking or else we will be doing it forever so I believe it’s vital that we educate students and staff about the impact of littering, which I hope we will achieve going forward especially now we have started our new project on plastics. I am enthusiastic about the future for an Environmentally Friendly Ilkley Grammar School but am also proud of what we’ve already achieved."

Ellis B

"I think that the group is a wonderful chance to meet other people who have similar opinions and ideas to yourself, and it is also amazing to be doing something to make a difference in the world. I think that if we can spread awareness about the impact that everyday things have on the planet, then we may have an eco friendly school and not only that but some people may change their choices at home to better impact the planet."

Charlotte W

"Being an eco-ileader for me has been really great. It’s nice to be a part of a group where we are all focusing on and wanting to achieve the same thing…and that’s for an eco friendly school, and hopefully, as soon as we can, an eco friendly planet. 

The thing I have most enjoyed throughout, is the litter picks. Every three weeks or so, we venture out into the school grounds, clearing out as much rubbish as we can. I enjoy this because it is action - although it is vital to plan and discuss, doing something that directly helps the planet always makes me feel good. 

So far, we have achieved a lot, from planning our actions for the year and discussing important issues in school, to litter picking and recycling the school’s paper. We’ve done a lot! 

Being in this group has been educating and interesting and I would really recommend it to any person who feels they’d like to make a difference in school."

Lydia G

"I have really enjoyed being part of the eco ileaders at IGS this year! I think that eco-ileaders is a great leadership opportunity as it gives us a chance to do our bit for the planet both in practical ways such as a litter pick or getting to talk to other people who also have a passion for the planet and making decisions about how we can help our school to be reduce our carbon footprint."

Rachel D

Further links:

Keep Britain Tidy: Great British Spring Clean

Ilkley Gazette Article: Ilkley Litter Picker of the Year 2021 

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