Eco-Schools USA staff with Whitelees School of Rock musicians and music director

During today’s morning sessions at the National Operators Meeting in Edinburgh, we learned more about the Eco-Schools Scotland program, as well as imagining what common criteria and processes might be useful for all countries when determining Green Flag awardees.

In Scotland, the government supports the Eco-Schools program financially, educationally, and environmentally. Since 2002, the country has registered virtually every school in the nation as an Eco-School – that numbers around 3,800!

Of the registered Scottish Eco-Schools, about 1,100 have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag at least once. Scotland is committed to lowering its CO2 emissions by 42 percent by 2020, and by 80 percent by 2050. The people want a low carbon, sustainable economy, and it is estimated that 60,000 green jobs can be created here by 2020—and young people need to be equipped to enter that green work force. Very progressive – and impressive.

Whitelees School of Rock performs Imagine, with a twist

At today’s luncheon, we were entertained and inspired by an amazing group of students from the Whitelees School of Rock.  The members use music as a way to communicate environmental ethic and literacy. The musicians travel around Scotland and have received permission from John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, to use the famous “Imagine” song and change the lyrics to as follows:

(Music: John Lennon; Lyrics: Whitlees School of Rock)

Imagine no pollution, it’s easy if you try
No fumes around us, above us only sky
Imagine all the people, caring for the world.

Imagine there’s no litter, a countryside that’s clean
Clear rivers flowing, what a lovely scene
Imagine all the people, working as a team.

We all say “go greener” but there’s work to be done
We could join together and save the world as one.

Imagine we recycle, everything we can
Conserving energy, a woman, child, and man
Imagine all the people, following this plan.

We all say “go greener” but there’s work to be done.
We could join together and save the world as one.

Associate Director Liz Soper and I are lucky to be here among such incredible students, along with Eco-Schools staff from other countries – listening and learning from each other about how we can make our program even better, and take Eco-Schools to scale in the United States and around the world.

Read my blog post from the first day of the Eco-Schools National Operators Meeting

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Published: November 18, 2010