Event report: #Climate Week’s Carbon Active Activities with MEEN at #Manchester Arndale Centre

As a recent Manchester Environmental Education Network volunteer ( MEEN for short) I had heard of pupils’ enthusiasm and of their great ideas to get the message across, but this was my first encounter with the real thing.

Our Carbon Classroom was held all day Thursday and Friday on the first floor of Hallé Square and was a great success! Shoppers and passers-by were able to take part in a wide and creative range of games and activities that each of the six participating schools had designed themselves:

– a recycling sorting game,
– a lazy-o-meter measuring carbon impact,
– questionnaires about people’s behaviour,
– fantastic presentations on the effects of global warming,
– displays showing polar bears in trouble because of melting ice,
– spot the greenhouse gas emitters games,
– a poll about whether supermarkets should have fridges with doors
– a “swap shop” where the contents of your shopping basket was analysed and you were given advice on changing shopping habits to lower your carbon footprint…

You name it, we did it!
Attendees signed personal pledges and left with smiles on their faces, having learnt something new from our green ambassadors. The eagerness to talk to people and discuss the issues was obvious, although we all found it very difficult to engage the public at all. Some people only had a minute, others were clearly not interested, but still we persevered and I reckon over 150 people took part in one form or another, even the Energy & Climate Change Minister, Baroness Verma!

Pupils were also able to take part in the other activities of the day provided by other groups involved in the Carbon Literacy Project: powering a hi-fi by pedalling bikes, searching for root vegetables in a mini- garden, looking for worms in compost (not with bare hands, let me reassure you!!), making mini paper pots to plant seeds in, answering a quiz on low carbon housing, playing a giant board game invented by pupils at St Peter’s RC High School, checking out the carbon footprint of various foods, designing reusable shopping bags etc.

Above all I was personally impressed with all the pupils who made such an effort, were very engaged and knowledgeable, very well behaved and polite to everyone. Well done Heald Place Primary School, Armitage CofE Primary School, St Philip’s CofE Primary School, Abraham Moss High School, Crumpsall Lane Primary School and Levenshulme High School!

Laurence Menhinick


Photo reproduced with permission from MEEN


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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