Staff at Stagecoach on Teesside helped to drive forward the environmental agenda as part of the north east’s Green Week activities, visiting a local primary school and encouraging healthy eating for its staff.
Over 130 pupils, age three to 11, from St Mark Elm Tree Primary School in Stockton enjoyed a visit by Stagecoach North East bus drivers and a bus for the Green Week ‘Teaching Tuesday’ campaign. The young eco warriors learned about the green energy that modern buses use, with the latest in ‘eco’ technology taking passengers all across the Tees Valley, and how they help to improve the environment that they live in.
The youngsters from nursery to year six were able to explore the bus, and took turns to be bus drivers, sitting in the driver’s chair and tooting the very loud horn! Assistant operations manager Carl Trodden, senior duty manager, Tony Shaw, revenue inspector Patrick Graham and bus driver Colin Hooson also brought some green goodies for the pupils, including recycled bags and pens.
10-year-old Ellie, a pupil at St Marks Elm Tree Primary School, said, "It was really interesting on the bus. I liked how the front seats were positioned so that disabled people could get on and off easily and sit down comfortably. We learned about how the bus uses less fuel and therefore saves energy and we talked about ways to save energy at home by turning lights off."
Mrs Gilhespy-Swan, assistant head teacher at St Mark's Elm Tree Primary said, "It has been a lovely day for all the children. The younger children enjoyed sitting in the driver's seat, while reception children learned about keeping safe on bus journeys and the older children found out about the eco aspects of the bus."
To end the week of energy saving and environmentally friendly promotions and activities, the company offered healthy snacks to all staff for ‘Fruity Friday’, so they could enjoy a healthy treat throughout the day, with the peelings and cores composted.
Nathan Stanislawski, Operations Manager at the Stagecoach depot in Stockton, said: “We were delighted to be able to show the children how the ‘green’ bus works and help them explore the bus, which they enjoyed very much.
“Stagecoach’s annual Green Week is an important awareness campaign which we are keen to support in our local community, and visiting the school offers a great opportunity to encourage youngsters to think’ green’, as well as having a good time. ‘Fruity Friday’ is also a fun way of encouraging healthy eating and the gesture is always appreciated by the staff.”
Schools in the area were also sent activity sheets to complete during half term. The company encouraged the young ‘eco warriors’ with a list of tasks; including waste recycling, litter picking and walking instead of travelling by car, with prizes for the schools with the best results.
During Green Week, the depot in Stockton took part in a number of activities to raise awareness among staff and customers, including walking or cycling to work and handing out free smart card wallets to customers.
This year the Green Week theme was ‘Green Sky Thinking’, which aimed to raise awareness among staff and customers about the need to continue to develop new ideas to tackle climate change.