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Coming soon to the ISA menu? Eco-minded students create tasty ‘Planet-Friendly Burger’

With Climate Week North-East in full swing across the region, we delve into some of the green-centric initiatives our eco-minded students have been exploring recently.

Events such as Climate Week North East help provide opportunities to learn how to address and work towards reaching the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (or SDG’s as they are better known) locally and globally. The SDG’s are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Back in 2016, ISA was proud to receive our first EcoSchools Green Flag award. Since then, we have successfully renewed the award each year.

Key to our school’s mission to support more aspects of the global SDG’s are two of our dedicated After-School Clubs whose values align with environmental organisations across the North-East as well as wider global plans for a more sustainable world.

Playing our part to cut carbon for a more sustainable future

Young Climate Activists is our middle school club whose focus is SDG No 13 (Climate Action). We know children are the leaders and scientists of the future and our biggest ambassadors for reinforcing the importance of global sustainability challenges including climate change and biodiversity.

A student contingent from our high school forms the ‘Environmental Club’, which is also dedicated to tackling a range of sustainability issues. Both clubs have been conducting research with a particular emphasis on SDG No 2 (Zero Hunger).

As part of exploring our planet’s food resources, the students were tasked with designing a ‘Planet-Friendly Burger’. They worked together to create their vision of a tasty plant-based burger while being asked to consider a broad range of issues including transport and how various food is grown and where.

The students calculated the food mileage involved in transporting food to the school, as well as taking the decision to ditch tomato sauce in favour of barbecue sauce (on the basis tomatoes aren’t native to the UK) with barbecue sauce becoming the more obvious sustainable choice.

Using their research as a rallying call, the students enlisted the help of fellow students, school leaders and other senior staff, to ensure every individual was given a chance to voice their opinion on the impact of their carbon footprint when it comes to their daily food choices.

A questionnaire on plant-based nutrition was distributed across the school and, from the 100 students who responded, a quarter of those said they would be willing to consider a more plant-based diet to cut carbon if tastier options were available in the school cafeteria.

Fabiana Pereira, one of our Science and Technology teachers, said she was most proud of her students’ awareness of the climate change movement.

“I’m incredibly proud of our students’ dedication to such importance causes and for playing their part in ISA’s effort to cut carbon.

“There is a huge awareness of sustainability across ISA and our students are all learning from each other on how to be more environmentally conscious at home and in the classroom. These issues affect us all and the time has now come for action. It’s so important to demonstrate to our students that they have a voice and that their ideas and views will be heard by those in charge.”

Across the school, we actively engage and encourage a more environmental lifestyle with education for sustainable development being infused into many aspects of the curriculum. We encourage our young people to talk about how the choices they make today can impact their future and it really gets them asking the question - what kind of life do we deserve?

By leveraging the passion our eco-friendly students hold for our planet, we are also experiencing a whole school drive to support another one of the SDG’s (No 7 – Affordable Clean Energy) with research taking place into different countries’ energy uses and how to best tackle the energy crisis in various parts of the world.

At ISA, we have no doubt that if our communities become more environmentally sustainable at a local level, it will have a positive impact on our global climate.

Fabiana adds, “The projects run by our Young Climate Activists and Environmental Club are very much student-led and are designed to encourage them to visualise the big changes that are coming. They all do an amazing job with their research and their passion for our planet and its future is inspiring.”

For more on the UN’s SDG’s, visit

For more on Climate Week North East, visit

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