Whether you are looking to make a start in a school Eco-group, want to plan new ideas or your school is declaring its own ‘Climate Emergency’, here are some very practical ideas and tools for your own Climate Action.

Four areas were said by the world’s scientists to be critical in reducing our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: Energy; Food & food waste; Travel & transport; and What we buy & use.  ICN uses these to help groups think about simple but effective Climate Actions in school. 

To generate ideas on these themes for your own school, see our resources page (view resources) for a Climate Action Workshop which can be run in an eco-group, class or year-group.  Students involved in ICN’s Climate Conferences in 2019 put forward a whole range of priorities that won’t cost much but will make a big difference in school.  They are summarised in the Climate Action Toolkit to give you inspiration, and then the action-planning activities will help you turn your own ideas into clear plans in each of these 4 themes: 


Despite all that we know already about Climate Change, our global Greenhouse Gas emissions are only just starting to fall as we move away from using coal for our energy. We can cut our impact (and save money!) by making our schools as low-carbon as possible.

We need to:

  • Use less energy for heat, lights, computers and electrical appliances
  • Think about renewable energy and better insulation
  • Encourage everyone to get involved.

Food & Food Waste

Food production already has a big impact on the world’s environment including via methane gases and clearing of forests. And about a third of the food we buy goes straight to the bin. It has been calculated that cutting avoidable waste would cut 22p off an average school meal.

We need to:

  • Use less meat, milk, cheese and butter
  • Eat more locally sourced seasonal food, and
  • Throw less of it away!

Travel & Transport

In the UK, more than 60% of journeys are by car which has a big impact on emissions and our health!  Around 35% students now walk to school where a generation ago, it was closer to 70% says Living Streets.  More than 75% of the goods we use travel across the country in vans and trucks.

We need to:

  • Walk or cycle short distances
  • Use public transport and car-share
  • Ask for better facilities where we need them.

What We Buy & Use

We live in a wasteful society where we: make; use (often just once); then throw away products. If a year’s worth of the UK’s un-recycled plastic bottles were placed end to end, they’d reach around the world 31 times.  Globally, only 20% clothes are recycled.

We need to think about what we use on a daily basis, and what we do with it all:

  • Live with less plastic
  • Recycle and reuse as much as possible
  • Use our ‘buying power’ to demand sustainability in everything.

Helping you lead climate action in school:

Climate Action Workshop

Use this Climate Action workshop resource with a class, year or eco-group to generate many ideas for action and vote on what is going to make a big difference. If you are located in our current areas of work our team of staff and volunteers can provide input so please get in touch


  • Power-point to lead through the workshop
  • Accompanying notes and session plan
  • Themed ‘Challenge’ worksheets.

Climate Action Toolkit

This easy-to-use toolkit will help you decide on priorities for your ideas, and then plan how to turn ideas into action. Use the planning activities in your eco-group or in class group work to focus your plans and help you put them into action.


  • Low cost / high impact ideas from 39 schools
  • Two action-planning activities and a Climate Action Planner
  • Links to great resources from other organisations.

Nothing will happen if nothing is done.

Cheltenham student