The Duchess of Cornwall visited Ringmer Community College and Sixth Form on Tuesday - her fourth engagement this year in East Sussex.
She met students and learned about their cutting-edge environmental work.
There are 220 ‘Eco Reps’ in the college who undertake extensive recycling and energy monitoring as well as reminding teaching staff to reduce paper usage and energy waste.
These students have also led workshops with other schools to show how to reduce energy and waste. The college has 7.5Kw photovoltaic panels and 2.5Kw wind turbines to help supply electricity to the school; they are also used as a teaching aid. The Sixth Form block was built with ecology in mind and ground source heat pumps were included to provide energy.
In the last few years the school has installed a rainwater harvesting system to flush the lavatories; this saves eight litres of drinking water per flush.
The construction of a 450Kw biomass boiler will complete the school’s range of renewables.
The college currently recycles around 110 tonnes of material a year including paper, cardboard, cans, plastic, vegetable oil, phones, ink cartridges and even lost property.
The college won an Ashden Award in 2008, as well as awards from the Energy Institute and DCSF Teaching, for its work on energy saving. It was one of two to be selected to represent secondary education at HRH The Prince of Wales’ Start Exhibition, which aimed to promote practical sustainable living. The college has also become an Ambassador Eco School.
The Duchess toured the Ringmer venue, including the Exemplar building, which houses a 360 degree cinema.
She visited the college’s Learning Resource Centre, where members of the student literacy shared their own stories with pupils from Ringmer Primary School.
The royal guest then watched a dancing display in the Sixth Form performance area and viewed student art work.