Is your School Climate Cool?

Written by Students at Nordfjord Folkehøgskule.

We recently ran a Ducky Climate Challenge. Everything started in autumn 2017 when our school established a Climate Council, consisting of five students. In the first semester, the Council organized weekly climate tips at the student gathering on Monday mornings.

We talked about one specific climate topic affecting us in our everyday life, and how we can live more sustainably. We think this played an important role in the engagement around environmental issues among the students.Bilde8-1We advised students to use what they already own instead of buying new stuff and to bring shopping nets to the store instead of buying new plastic bags every time.

The School principal introduced us to Ducky. It sounded like a lot of fun, and it was a new way of encouraging students. We started working toward implementing the Ducky Challenge at NordfjordSome of us participated in a test challenge to see how it worked. We found it supercool and looked forward to setting it up for our fellow students.

Before the Challenge started, we had several visitors talking about different climate issues. A representative from TAVAHA movement and a representative from INFINITUM was among the visitors. This engaged students, and prepared us for the Challenge.

The Challenge started right after Christmas, and in parallell we arranged a vegetarian challenge. Before Christmas, we asked students if they were interested in trying a no-meat diet for two weeks. 80 out of 140 students said they were. It led to great positivity for vegetarian food during the Ducky Challenge. 80 students logged 'vegetarian day' in Ducky everyday and saved a lot of CO₂per student. It was a big win for their team.

Quick fact: a vegetarian day saves 1,06 KgCO₂e.

During the Challenge, everyone talked about environmental issues, and much more than before. In general, it led to more discussion and reflection about the issue among all students. Even those who usually wouldn't care that much.

Less food waste, less unnecessary light in rooms that were not used and fewer and shorter showers were just some of the positive outcomes. People were more busy taking care of the environment than usual. 

We, the members of the Climate Council, both saw and heard a remarkable difference at the school. 

We arranged an event where students could take their things and their clothes and swap them with others' clothes or things. Leftovers were given to 'Fretex'. The purpose was to reduce consumption of new clothes and make something out of old clothes instead of just throwing them away. In this way, many students got their wardrobe freshened up without charging the environment.

We viewed the documentary "Before the flood", by Leonardo DiCaprio, which was relevant and made us more aware of the issue we are facing.

The Ducky Challenge went on between different dorm floors, and teachers at our school. Vesttun 1 and Midttun 1 were the two leading floors. V1 was all boys, and M1 was all girls. M1 proved themselves the best and won first prize.

The prize was a full vegan "gourmet" meal, cooked and served by members of the Climate Council. The winning team also got a winner's cup made of milk carton lids and an empty soda bottle. Additionally, we taught them how to use beeswax for reusable wrappings.

The Winners Menu

The meal was six vegan dishes. The first dish was baked sweet potato with vegan bacon, sour supreme, vegan 'cheese' dip, mango salsa, marinated garlic, tortilla chips, and guacamole. 

Bilde7For the second dish we had vegan enchiladas, with beans, chili, sweet potato, coriander, and champignon, with salsa and avocado/tahini dip on top. The main dish was pitas with falafel, spinach, tomato, cucumber, red onion, vegan cheese dip, hummus, and sour supreme. 

For dessert, we served two delicious cakes with whipped cream. The first cake was a vegan chocolate cake with chili, coffee, and raspberry, and the second was a vegan Oreo Cake. 

The winning team was really satisfied (and stuffed) after this great meal. It was a cozy evening with lots of amazing food.Through this meal, we showed people how tasteful and varied vegan food can be, and several of the teammates said that they definitely would make some of the dishes at home.

Our school's Ducky Challenge was the most successful so far. Never had the percentage of participants been higher, and never had the savings per person been greater. We thank the Ducky Team for their great support and our school management for giving us the opportunity and giving the winners a well-deserved prize. We thank every participant for being totally into it and going for the win. Go, Ducky! 

Climate Council at Nordfjord Folkehøgskule

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