Ethical and green living

It’s time to junk the junk food | Education

School meals are a scandal. Discuss. Actually, let’s not, because nearly everyone now agrees that they are, even the private catering contractors who provide so many of them. Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners series on Channel 4 has touched a national nerve in the past two weeks because when he says we are feeding our children “scrotum-burger shite” and making them ill, we know it’s true. Every viewer seems to have their own worst moment from Oliver’s series. For some it…

Read More

Renewables barely feature in building programme for 500 schools | Education

It is a modernist version of a log cabin nestling in a busy south London suburb – and it is about to make history. The new building for Hackbridge primary, in Sutton, opens next week as England’s first zero-carbon school, able to produce and conserve as much energy as it uses, and even put unused electricity generated back into the grid. With its wood frame and cladding, solar panels, pumps to collect heat from the ground, and insulation made from…

Read More

What hypocrisy, I think guiltily, as I jet off to academic conferences far and wide | Jonathan Wolff | Education

“What did you do on global climate protest day, Daddy?” “I was in the city centre, and joined the protest for a while. But I had to leave, as I needed to get to the airport to fly home.” I was in Hamburg that day. To speak at a conference, of course, one of many recent academic trips abroad, to China, the US and Europe, almost all by plane. Academic travel is seen as a perk of the job, although…

Read More

University admissions and messy exits | Letters | Education

Bernie Evans asks a critical question about pupils from underprivileged backgrounds and suggests a more generous route into university (Letters, 29 June). We have been in this situation before, decades ago, in the context of adult education. By focusing on women’s return to learning and then access to higher education, we discovered that their children followed them. The answer seemed to lie in the home as much as school. None of my parents or grandparents went to university. After leaving…

Read More

As an academic, should I worry about my conference carbon footprint? | Sophia Kier-Byfield | Education

The other day, as I boarded a budget airline plane to attend a conference in Spain, I was overcome with a feeling I’ve come to recognise: carbon-footprint guilt. As a PhD student, this would be my first international conference, an exciting chance to meet fellow researchers in my field – feminism and gender studies – and discuss topics we care about. But as I sat chatting casually with other academics headed the same way, I couldn’t help but worry about…

Read More