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Step 3: Action Plan
 The Action Plan is the core of your Eco-Schools programme. Once you are done with your Environmental Review, set up a Eco-Committee meeting date to collate your results, prioritise issues for your school, and formulate a plan to tackle them. It would work better if you look at smaller issues first, work on them, and celebrate when you achieve success. Actions that will require a long-term activity can be broken down into smaller actions and delegated accordingly. Those that are related to specific themes can be assigned to the relevant sub-committees for actions.

Remember to set up a time period to monitor and evaluate the planned actions.

Hence, the Action Plan is a dynamic document that will be updated regularly depending on your monitoring results. Every school works differently; so this may seem simple for one school but need not be for another.

What should the Eco-Action Plan include?
Goals should be achievable and provide realistic targets and deadlines to improve the environmental quality of your school. Wherever possible, quantifiable targets should be set, such as a 10% reduction in electricity consumption from the previous year or a 30% reduction in waste over a period of six months. Start with small actions and don't be too ambitious. Instead, strive to ensure success, increase confidence, and build enthusiasm for further work. It is crucial to determine how you will monitor and evaluate your progress, and this should be integrated into your Eco- Schools Action Plan as well.
As with every element of the Eco-Schools process, your Action Plan should be linked to the curriculum and should involve students as much as possible.

What are the steps to create a successful Action Plan? 1. Gather results from your Environmental Audit. Pick out topics that you want to tackle, such as energy consumption or cafeteria waste. Decide what kinds of actions you can take to improve your school's performance. Assign the task to the specific sub-committee.
2. Decide how you will measure success in achieving your objectives. For example, if you are tackling energy consumption, set up a system that allows you to measure changes in energy usage over time.
3. Negotiate a time frame for each action item. Is the target action to be achieved in the short, medium or long term?
4. Decide who is to be responsible for each action. Students should take as much responsibility as possible.
5. Include a section for monitoring any financial costs you may incur or save based on your activities.
6. Make your Action Plan accessible to the whole school community through your website or post it in a visible location, such as the school office or library. You can set up a special Eco-Schools notice board. For examples of Action Plans, check out the sample plan included in each Eco-Schools theme.
7. Identify where in the curriculum each of the Eco- Schools activities can be linked. For e.g., making charts using data obtained from weighing your daily waste can be used as a Maths problem Eco-Schools Tip: If in your school, environmental issues were not considered a priority, then it is likely that your Environmental Review has shown that your school needs to set numerous targets. Do not feel that you have to tackle them all at once...
It is important that as students progress along the action plan, they experience success. Therefore, make sure that you:
- Set realistic and achievable targets
- Distinguish between short, medium, and long term targets,
- Prioritise targets
As the saying goes, pluck the low hanging fruits first. The Eco Schools process celebrates commitment to improve your school environment rather than achieving perfection. So, for every action that you plan to take, identify WHY you want to do it, and HOW will you decide whether your objectives have been met or not.

Sample Action Plan

Action
Who’s in-charge? Do we need extra help? When will it be done by? How can we monitor it? How will we know when we are successful? How much will it cost? Will it work? Ideas for the future? Curriculum link
a. Design a compost bin for waste from the school cafeteria Grade 6 will collect the waste
Grade 5 will help weigh it
Gardener’s help will be needed to dig the compost pit January 15 Make charts to show how much waste we gather When we are able to use the compost in our school garden We may need to buy a composting box Result will take at least 2 months Science, Maths
b. Monitor litter in school Designated Eco-Committee members from Grade 7 Designing posters.  School admin to print posters Through
the year
Regular Eco-monitors’ report When the school inside and outside can be declared litter-free Minimal printing cost Eco-monitors’ report will help Art, Social Studies
(Adopted from Eco-Schools USA, Eco-Schools Scotland, Ekoskola Malta)
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