Class 7a is “Going Green”!
We´re from Corvey School in Hamburg and we´re in seventh grade.
Our class is taking part in a project called “Going Green”. It is a project where classes from all over the world talk about the environment and learn how to protect it. We have an e-classroom where we share our results, discuss them and give feedback.
In class we speak a lot about sustainability and how we can pay attention to the things we buy, for example clothes and food. One day we went to the supermarket and found out where the groceries we are eating everyday come from. And we spoke about organic food, too.
For all these topics we use the Going Green website where our teacher Mrs Rass posts assignments, links and videos, for example about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the garment industry in Bangladesh.
We do online research, web quests and watch short videos and then we make posters or mind maps or upload our answers in the blog. In class, we speak English all the time.
At the end of the project there is a competition. We have to do creative things for the environment and the best class wins a price.
But before we can start to develop our own ideas, we asked organizations in Hamburg what they do for the environment. In the following we will show you what we found out!
Can, Cord & Jannik
Is Hamburg a green city?
We sent an email to an architect. We asked her some questions about the sustainable building of houses in Hamburg. We asked her for example how long a house can be used and she told us that with the new building materials a house can be used for a longer time. We also asked her how they build sustainable houses. She answered that they want to improve the preservation and the promotion of the natural heritage. We also found out that a sustainable house is also important for the people who live in it. Because good health and wellbeing can make people happy! So the houses of today are more sustainable than before: Almost all the houses have better insulation and many houses have solar energy.
We think these results are astonishing, because it’s better for the environment!
Fabia & Lina
We found out how many trees are cut off and how many new trees are planted.
First, we spoke to the forest warden-Volksdorf. They told us about Hamburg’s forests and how many trees are cut off and planted. This winter they cut off 2000 trees (but only in the forests) and 10.000 trees were planted. We think the results of the forests are pretty good because they planted more trees than they cut off. They also told us that they only cut off too old trees, too big trees and too thin trees.
We also found out that for every tree you want to cut off you need an authorization and for every tree that is cut off you have to plant a new tree.
In Hamburg are nine forest wardens so in the forests in Hamburg about 18.000 are cut off and about 90.000 new trees are planted. Every forest in Hamburg is protected.
We also found out about the street trees: There are 240.000 street trees and there are 300 different kinds of trees. In winter and spring 2016 120 trees were cut off and 113 new trees planted.
We think these results aren’t good because they cut more street trees than they plant.
But this year they want to plant more than 600 street trees and the city of Hamburg wants to spend 1.5 million € on trees, which is great!
Tasja & Zoe
We’ve been working on ecological cars. We spoke to the companies BMW and Audi here in Hamburg.
– BMW told us that they are building cars with two motors. One normal motor and one electric motor. Every time the car uses the electric motor it doesn’t give off as much exhaust gases as a normal motor. But they also have cars that only have an electric motor, which is even better.
– Audi said that they want to produce only electric cars until 2020.
– The company Tesla is building only electric cars and they aren’t very expensive.
We also looked up car companies that have the highest budget for their electric cars:
1st Place: Audi
2nd Place: BMW
3rd Place: VW
Audi spends the highest amount of money on electric cars.
In 2015, all companies together sold 25.502 electric cars in Germany. The best-selling electric car in the world is the „Nissan Leaf“. The best-selling electric car in Germany is the „BMW i3“.
Carlo, Ghawar, Julian & Stefan
We sent an email to the HVV and we asked them about the hybrid buses. We got an answer and they told us that 51 hybrid buses are used. A hybrid-bus costs 350.000 € and the first one was used in 2010.
The next question was if plans exist to only have hybrid buses in the future. We got to know that they only want to have battery buses by the year 2020, and no hybrid buses anymore, because battery buses are even better.
We asked them why hybrid buses are only used on the line 109 and not on the busy and crowded line 5. They said it is because bigger buses (double-articulated buses) are used on route 5.
We think that these aspects are interesting. We hope that the HVV can put its plans into action so that there’ll be more sustainable alternatives and less emissions in the future.
Luca, Lasse & Meyssam
We called different car- and bike sharing companies. We chose three companies to compare: Car2go, Car2lent and HHcitycycles.
First we spoke to Car2go. They told us that they have 562 petrol cars. Car2go thinks positively about electric cars. They think that the cars are practical, good and cheap. For now, the company has only some in Stuttgart, but in the future they want to have some in Hamburg, too. Their cars are almost everywhere and used by many people.
The next company we called was Car2lent. Car2lent said that their cars are environmentally friendly because they are clean and checked. They’ve got 200 petrol and diesel cars. 60%-70% are used all the time. They think positively about electric cars, too. They like them because they drive with electricity and they’re better for the environment. They also have one (!) in Hamburg!
The last company we spoke to is called HHcitycycles. The idea of the company is to show the tourists Hamburg in an environmentally friendly way. To go by bike is a good alternative to sightseeing-tours by bus. HHcitycycles has got 200 bikes and you only have to pay 9 euros per bike. Most of the bikes are used by tourists or by groups of adults.
Our result: HHcitycycles is the environmentally friendliest way to explore Hamburg. Bikes don’t pollute the air with exhaust gasses. It’s cheap, good for your health and you won’t have a guilty conscience. For us the second place is Car2go, because they have electric cars. They also plan to have some more in the future (also in Hamburg). Car2lent has only one electric car and is in the third place.
We hope you enjoyed the summary of our interviews!
Emilija & Julia
We spoke to the waste collection services. They told us that there are around 4200kg of garbage and foliage on the streets in Hamburg.
They also said that there are 54600 garbage cans in Hamburg. There is always more plastic than other rubbish. The positive aspect about this is that people actually use the bins for non-recyclable waste but the problem is that they produce far too much plastic.
We also asked: “Do the people who live here recycle a lot? And how much garbage is thrown away in a year?“ The man answered that they sometimes see that only half of the yellow bin is full. We also got to know that 720 555 tons of garbage are thrown away in a year and that a normal person produces 244kg of garbage in a year.
We think these results are incredible, because we produce too much garbage and we don’t recycle enough.
We hope you enjoyed our text!
Lily, Narges & Yasmin
We sent an email to Hamburg Wasser and got an answer.
We found out that the water that we are drinking is pumped up from the groundwater. The water that we pump up is clean, because when it seeps to the groundwater it is filtered by clay and sand layers.
We also found out that the groundwater is already clean. Only if necessary, the water is disinfected with chlorine or chlorine dioxide.
The waste water treatment takes place in Hamburg Central WWTP, Hamburg’s waste water treatment plant.
We hope you enjoyed our text. Bye!
Kai & Tim
Conclusion: We now know that Hamburg already does a lot for sustainable living. We are excited to start our own projects now to make our school and our neighborhood an even better and greener place to live in.