The threat of climate change is striking a chord with concerned children across the globe. High levels of greenhouse gases are warming our planet and carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by humans is having a devastating impact on habitats and wildlife.

By cutting your emissions you’ll help the environment and you could save your school money too.

When you show us how you’ve reduced your school’s carbon footprint you’ll earn one point on the Green Tree Schools Award.

How can your school reduce CO2 emissions?

There are lots of ways you can take action. Talking to your local authority is a good place to start as they may be able to offer help and support. You could also have a brainstorming session with pupils to see what ideas they come up with. Try to involve them with any changes you make as much as you can.

  • Encourage pupils and staff to walk or cycle to school. Traffic is a major cause of CO2 emissions and air pollution, so create a green travel plan and encourage your whole school to do their bit.
  • Switch to a renewable energy supplier that uses wind or solar power instead of coal and gas.
  • Use less energy. If possible, get pupils involved in monitoring your school’s energy usage and encourage them to come up with ideas to use less.

Simple ways to save energy in school

Here are some easy things you can start doing straight away. As well as saving energy and helping the environment, you'll also save your school money!

  • Change to energy-saving light bulbs.
  • Switch off lights in empty classrooms and school halls.
  • Avoid leaving computers, TVs and printers on standby.
  • Unplug chargers when not in use.
  • Turn your school’s heating down a degree or two.

Get your whole school involved

Ask your pupils to think of ways they can raise awareness. They could deliver an assembly, design posters reminding people to switch off lights and other electronics, or write an article for your school blog.

How to claim your point

This challenge is worth one point on our award. To claim it, tell us how you’ve reduced your school’s emissions.

Email with the subject line 'carbon dioxide'.

We’ll add one point to your account after we receive your evidence (usually within two weeks).

How we use quotes and photos

We like to use comments and photos from schools to inspire other teachers and young people about outdoor learning. With your permission, they could appear on our award materials, website, press releases and social media.

You can find out more about how we use and look after your personal information in our privacy policy.


If you're happy for us to share your quotes and photos as outlined above, please include the following permission statements in your email:

  • We confirm we have permission from the photographer to submit these photos and use them for the purposes stated.
  • We confirm we have permission from pupils' parents/guardians to share their photos, comments and names and use them for the purposes stated.

If you'd rather we didn't share them, please include the following statement in your email:

  • We would prefer that our photos and comments are not used for the purposes stated.

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