Make your summer fair more sustainable
With sustainability at the forefront of our
minds, we all want to do our bit to help save the planet. Here's
how you can raise funds at your summer fair while being more
mindful of the environment.
Appoint a sustainability officer
There's a lot to think about before a big fundraising
event, which is why many PTAs form a sub-committee to plan and run
summer fairs. Ask a parent who is passionate about the environment
to take on the role of sustainability officer on your organising
What does a sustainability officer do?
- Sources biodegradable plates and crockery
- Sources green raffle prizes
- Makes sure crockery is washed and packed away
- Sets up and spreads awareness of recycling
- Ensures waste is properly disposed of during
When planning eco-friendly fair stalls, key points to
remember are: make use of what's already available, use supplies
that last and avoid products that will become landfill.
Recycle: Run a craft stall with
recycled items collected from parents and leftover art materials
from the school. Base your stalls around items that are easy to
borrow - for example, three buckets and a ball is all you need for
a bucket throw.
Hold a prize amnesty for unwanted party favours, sweets and
Use supplies that last: Put out a
call to supporters who like to make things. Activities such as a
'punch-a-pot' board or splat-the-rat pipe can be used every
Avoid stalls that harm the
environment: Balloon pops and crockery smashes are
for the children, but the resulting popped balloons and smashed
plates at the end of the event is a high price to pay.
The more there is for children to do, the longer they
will stay at your fair. Take advantage of having an event outdoors
by putting pupils in touch with nature. For example, use compost,
seeds, clay powder and water to set up a seed-bomb-making stall. If
you have an area at your school that could be turned into a bee
garden, invite makers to plant their seeds by throwing their bombs
into the flowerbed when they're finished.
You could also set up a 'bird table', where children
can pick from different types of seeds to create unique bird food
for their gardens, make fat balls or create bird feeders out of old
plastic bottles. The RSPB has lots of different ideas. Ensure
you omit nut butter and nuts if you're a nut-free school.
Another idea is to source ceramic plant pots and
then invite pupils to decorate them. Encourage green fingers by
handing out envelopes of seeds to plant when they get home. Check
with your local garden centre to ensure you choose a variety that
will grow in summer.
With more and more people going vegan or generally
eating less meat, make sure you offer vegan and vegetarian options
as well as meat. Use local suppliers to reduce food miles, and sell
drinks in cans and glass bottles rather than plastic.
You could also offer a discount for those that bring
their own reusable cup for hot drinks, or invest in reusable
crockery. Yvette Hill, PTA treasurer at Kineton Green Primary
School in Solihull, says: 'Our school PTA has a reusable party kit
that we hire out to anybody local to reduce the need for single-use
plastics at parties. We purchased colourful items for £25 from
Ikea, and are now members of a reusable party kit network (partykitnetwork.uk), which is free to register
with and enables us to offer the hire service to our local
We ask for a £5 donation when hiring out the kit, and
get about one hire per month. The feedback has been great as it
saves money, there's zero waste and the rainbow colours work with
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