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Eco-Warrior Writing Competition

A recent writing competition to promote ways of making Marlow more Eco-Friendly had a number of interesting entries, which we are pleased to showcase below.

Well done to the students whose work is published here for engaging with the task and for having such good ideas, or for finding ideas that chimed with their beliefs.

How Can Marlow Reduce Their Impact on Climate Change? 

by Grace Puddephatt

 Home Lighting  

  • Battery operated lights are cheap to buy and provide a cheap alternative to having main lights on if you are just moving around your home. They can be bought with USB charging ports so you don’t use lots of batteries or can be solar charged to avoid using mains electricity. 
  • Only turn lights on when they’re needed and make sure to turn lights off when you leave a room!

 Home Heating 

  • Wear jumpers when it gets cold instead, adding another layer to what you wear is a simple way of insulating yourself against colder conditions, you may find you have a spare jumper or two at the back of your wardrobe just waiting to be used.
  • Keep doors closed to maintain a constant temperature where you, are instead of heating the whole house.
  • Adjust timers to reduce the amount of time your heating is running and to reduce the amount of gas used.


  • Each month everyone could plant 1 or 2 trees.
  • Anybody with a garden/allotment could grow their own fruit and veg.

 Reduce the use of cars 

  • Walk or cycle to school if you live nearby.
  • Use your car less: walk to the shops, walk to meet friends.

 More bins 

  • Provide more bins: if there are more dedicated bins, more rubbish can be separated to aid recycling and less will be sent to the landfills.

 Community competitions 

  • We could ask all schools in Marlow to choose a recyclable material to collect and then group it together to then be sent to be recycled.
  • We could ask the people of Marlow to join together and do a big litter pick across Marlow.
  • If we have lots and lots of community competitions it means that more people will leave their houses meaning that they won’t need to use their heating as much.


  • Reducing the temperature on a washing machine saves energy every time the washing is put on.
  • There are many different ways to dry washing such as heated airers some of which only costing 4p an hour to use.

Green Gym

by Arran Bligh

Design turbines for use in the gym that will produce energy for the school.

  • In Great Marlow School the sports centre, and the gym in particular, are a huge part of community life, but could it be more than that? Could the energy exerted in the gym by its multiple users and students be put to good use rather than just being wasted?
  • If the machines in this particular building could be modified so as to produce energy rather than require it to run, the amount of electricity generated could both reduce the school’s energy bill and reduce its dependency on carbon dioxide producing fuels to power the buildings.
  • Potentially, this idea could then be expanded to other gyms in the town to encompass the whole of Marlow and generate energy for an entire town.
  • The easiest energy generating device to create would be a pedal turbine. This is a version of a crank handle but one that would have to be pedalled on rather than manually turned. This would be the easiest to design as pedalling creates a circular motion, which is used in turbines to generate electricity. According to internet sources a device of this kind would produce 0.11 kWh for an hour of pedalling.
  • Could PE lessons be used as a productive time to produce energy?  In Great Marlow School there are approximately 1125 students, who have a mandatory two hours of physical education a week. Assuming one of these two hours a week for each student could be devoted to using one of these machines that would produce 123.75 kWh a week.
  • With figures stating that in a week the average house requires 71.55 kWh, the amount of energy produced by the students could power an entire household.
  • Other designs for these generators include the rowing machines, as the chain is pulled back it turns cogs, each one being connected to its very own turbine and thus producing electricity as it is turned. Weight lifting machine: as the elastic is pulled it rotates wheels, each a miniature turbine and so creating an electric flow.

Plant a Tree

by Ava Cryer 

Have you ever been to a town where you have to search for greenery, where the air feels thick to breathe, where your pictures look black and white as there are no flowers for miles?

I love Marlow and I personally can’t let that happen to our beautiful community.

So, I have a proposition. Plant a tree to save our town.  Trees do so much good for our planet, for example, they take in carbon dioxide in exchange for oxygen. They are fun and entertaining for children and the trees are beautiful and give homes to lots of wildlife. Also, it takes twelve trees to provide enough oxygen for one human, yet every day 1 million trees are cut down.  

If everyone in Marlow planted one tree, we would save our town for an affordable cost and have a fun learning experience for everyone. 100 people live in Marlow, just imagine if everyone clubbed together and we help each other we can really make a difference in our world.

Transport, Litter and Plastic

by Alice Farrow

To reduce the amount of energy used in Marlow there should be more buses and public transport. If you think about the number of people who drive to school from Marlow Bottom or Little Marlow, the places where it’s just a little to walk but no buses. There should be more buses that do routes around Marlow.

Also, we could have a day where everyone picks up one piece of litter. If you imagine how many people there are in Marlow and if everyone picked up one piece of litter that would be, say, 500 pieces of litter picked up in one day. Imagine if everyone had to pickup two pieces of litter, that is 1000 pieces of litter picked up in a day. Think how much could be resolved by only doing a little bit each? These litter picks should be advertised around Marlow and online.

We could talk to supermarkets about their plastic bag wastage. Instead of multiple-use plastic bag usage, supermarkets could encourage one reusable bag (maybe made out of cotton) that shoppers buy and use over and over again. A system could be put in place that when you use your reusable bag, when shopping, you could gain money off your weekly shop or be rewarded free items. If you think about, it no one will lose money as shops would earn money from people buying reusable bags.

Finally, my last suggestion is that eco-friendly items like biodegradable bin bags, reusable water bottles, and Tupperware should be cheaper to purchase than non-eco friendly options like plastic bottles and zip-lock bags. Therefore, people would be more inclined to buy them and save the planet. People always go for the cheaper option.

Thank you for reading my ideas about how to help Marlow be more Eco-friendly and I hope these ideas are considered.

Eat to Preserve 

by Eve Kouyoumdjian and Isabella Murray

We think that the residents of Marlow and could aim to eat less meat/dairy products to help reduce the effects of climate change. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, about 14% of all emissions come from meat and dairy production. This is because of land-use change, and processes used in farming,which make up much of the carbon footprint of most foods. Animal-based foods tend to score considerably higher in these two areas than plant-based foods. For example, grazing animals require a lot of land, often created through deforestation. Deforestation is bad because it causes soil erosion, flooding, increased greenhouse gases and climate change. Livestock also produces large quantities of methane, a particularly harmful greenhouse gas. Meanwhile, foods like tofu, beans, peas and nuts have a very low overall carbon footprint making them environmentally friendly choices. Simply reducing our intake of these two foods can make a big impact. One easy way to reduce consumption of high impact animal-based products is to reduce portion sizes. This idea is free and accessible for everyone.  

Veganism and vegetarianism are growing every day and so are food substitutes. For example: instead of eating ice cream you could try fruit sorbet (many restaurants have this on their menu), you could try things like almond or oat milk instead of real milk, there are also many meats substitutes you can buy from any supermarket and are many more substitutes you can try. There are also many benefits to a vegan diet: a vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients, eating vegan can help you lose excess weight, a vegan diet appears to lower blood sugar levels and improve kidney function, it lowers the risk of diabetes complications and eating vegan can even reduce pain from arthritis (inflammation or swelling of one or more joints).  








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