The Hunter Foundation triples Sir David Attenborough dinner prizes – awarding three Scottish schools tables at event

Denny High School, George Heriot’s School and Perth Grammar School each win top prize

A competition for one school to win a table at a charity dinner event with Sir David Attenborough received such strong entries that judges could not choose between the top contenders, meaning three schools have been awarded tables of ten. Sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland, the secondary school competition received 187 entries, all of which were of a very high standard, leaving the judges with a difficult decision. 

Denny High School, George Heriot’s School and Perth Grammar School each won tables for pupils to attend the black-tie event, which is happening at the National Museum of Scotland on Tuesday 18th February. The event will also see Grammy winning violinist Nicola Benedetti and 80s sensations Hue & Cry perform. 

Details of the winning entries are: 

Denny High School’s short film, Do It Days, which recommended introducing meatless Monday, turn off Tuesday, walking Wednesday, no throw away Thursday and fruity Friday to schools across Scotland to reduce carbon emissions – 

Perth Grammar School creating a film to launch a new system, created by children, to embed sustainability into the school curriculum. Their system would bring new waste management processes, biofueled public transport, make multi-use products more popular in Scottish schools by swapping cling film for reusable tubs and encourage pupils to have reusable water bottles. Their powerful film called for people to change their attitude and said ‘If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not listening’ – 

George Heriot’s School’s video portrayed the introduction of an annual school sustainability summit with ideas including grants for schools to install solar panels and wind turbines, the introduction of more processing plants for recyclable materials in Scotland, a stop to the sale of single use bottles and cans in schools, free bus passes for children to encourage young people to use public transport from a young age and the introduction of school swap shops for school uniforms and gym kits – 

Sir Tom Hunter commented;

“We have seen Scotland’s young people react to this climate challenge with deep knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done.

“What strikes me is the consistency with which they see schools as potential beacons of hope citing everything from meat free Mondays, banning plastics to water refills; garden and tree planting as well as clean energy use…

“Given the Government’s commitment to climate change, schools may well be precisely the place to continue this drive harnessing the passion and knowledge of the young people who can and will lead this change.

“To be honest all the schools and pupils who participated were winners, but these three remarkable entries from Denny High School, George Heriot’s School and Perth Grammar School shone out.

“The incredible participation in this competition shows the generation we have let down by our actions, won’t let their actions compound our negligence, quite the reverse.

Scotland’s young people already play their part in climate action, a part that will only grow exponentially.”  

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The high volume and standard of entries show just how important the environment is to Scotland’s school pupils. The winners all presented an understanding of the issues and a range of practical ideas for tackling the climate emergency. To change our current path, we need fresh thinking and, even more importantly, commitment to alter the way we live, and it is heartening to see these young people embrace this.”