The Dustbin Diet at Henry Box School

60 students from the Henry Box School in Witney took part in the Dustbin Diet as part of their geography curriculum.

At the time of delivering the course, year 9 students were expected to gain an “understanding that the physical and human dimensions of the environment are interrelated and together influence environmental change”. They also explore “sustainable development and its impact on environmental interaction and climate change.”

The students took part in activities and discussions to further their understanding of the impact of waste on the environment, why we waste, and how we can reduce waste.

They looked at the differences between dealing with food waste by composting or anaerobic digestion compared to allowing waste to go to landfill.  They also looked at the waste hierarchy and where different ways of dealing with waste fitted into it.

An important part of the Dustbin Diet is looking at ‘change management’.  Thanks to some game cooperation of the teachers and teaching assistants, they looked at what happened when change is not managed in suitably sized chunks that people can cope with.  By contrast, applying a few easy principles of change management, students were also able to see and feel what that was like too.  Armed with this experience, the students were able to understand how best to bring about changes to the waste management within the school.

The focus of the course then moved to producing their own book of 101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free, which you can view here:


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Rachelle Strauss

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