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28 March 2024
Public Sector

Swansea Becomes First City to Introduce Liquid Trees to All Primary Schools

Swansea has become the first city to introduce ‘liquid trees' to all of its primary schools.

The scheme, backed by Swansea Building Society, was kicked off at the Swansea Schools and Climate Education event at the Stadium.

Liquid trees capture carbon from the atmosphere, making for cleaner air by using microalgae to bind carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

The event brought together educators and community leaders, as well as Julie James MS, former Minister for Climate Change, and Councillor Rebecca Fogarty of Swansea Council, to celebrate the fusion of cutting-edge climate education within school curriculums.

Mark Douglas, Founder of Our Classroom Climate (OCC), a climate change education programme for primary age pupils, said:

“Today is a momentous occasion that underscores our collective commitment to confronting climate change. It's a day where we unite across various sectors to make a meaningful impact. Our programme is designed to be an enjoyable educational journey, and we urge entities at all levels to help us roll this out across UK schools, positioning us as a global beacon for positive change.”

Julie James MS said:

“I was struck by the enthusiasm and knowledge demonstrated by the learners, and how this has sparked engagement with parents and carers. Everyone in Wales has a part to play in helping us to achieve a low carbon future. The voices of our children and young people are crucial to this. Learning about the environmental challenges we face and recognising the steps we can take in combatting the Climate Emergency is an essential part of a 21st century education.”

Dr. Alla Silkina from Swansea University's Centre of Sustainable Aquatic Research shared her excitement about contributing to the initiative by providing starter packs of Spirulina culture to initiate the liquid trees in classrooms.

“These packs are not just educational; they're practical tools for capturing CO2, improving indoor air quality, and moving towards net-zero emissions,” she explained.

The event also featured presentations from Professor Geraint Jones and Dr. Rhys Jones, a Q&A with experts, and access to innovative teaching resources, all aimed at making climate science engaging and accessible for students.

Nathan Griffiths from Swansea Building Society said:

“We're proud to have played a key role in facilitating the Swansea Schools & Climate Education event and the ‘liquid trees' initiative. Providing these advanced bioreactors to schools is part of our commitment to empowering the younger generation to tackle climate change effectively. This reflects Swansea Building Society's dedication to sustainable projects and environmental education among Swansea's youth, striving to create a legacy of positive change for future generations.”

Paul Broderick, CEO of Bluestones Group, added,

“We work with hundreds of schools across the whole of Wales and see on a daily basis the impact that climate change anxiety is having on our country's pupils. We were compelled to support Our Classroom Climate in their mission to change attitudes to climate change ‘one classroom at a time' and so we have built a companion package of teacher CPD including a Certificate in Sustainability & Climate Change Education, which we are providing free to all Swansea schools signed up to the OCC programme.”

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