You may have noticed that lately we’ve been plastering the school in posters featuring Swedish teen climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg and asking you all to help us make ecobricks.

But what is an ecobrick? And why do we want your rubbish to make them?

An ecobrick is a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic. It’s created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block.

That’s why we’re asking you for your food wrappers – chocolate or fruit bar wrappers, crisp packets, the clear plastic used to cover fruit and vegetables, plastic bags for bread, and so on. Basically anything that is single use plastic that you’d normally throw away can be put into an ecobrick and become something useful rather than going into landfill or – worse – the ocean.

And yes, it may sound a bit gross to keep rubbish that you’d normally throw away. But if we’re going to help the planet we all need to do our bit, and this is really easy. And your hands are perfectly washable.

What are we going to use them for? Ecobricks can be used in building projects, as if the bottle is packed hard enough it becomes rigid and strong, and is also naturally insulating. We can send the St Laurence School ecobricks to developing countries to make furniture or buildings, or if anyone has a great idea for something we could construct at school from them we’d love to hear it.

So please, do your bit to help the planet at school and bring us your food wrappers and plastic bottles to the ILC so we can work on this project together.

Do You Know Dewey?

The Dewey Decimal Classification system was first created by a chap called Melvil Dewey, all the way back in 1876. That’s him, just there. →

Essentially Melvil’s system organises every single possible non-fiction book by a set of numbers, meaning that no matter the subject, it can be found easily in any library, anywhere. (Or, at the current count, 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries.)

These numbers are all the same as they’re all on the same subject. The three letters underneath indicate the first three letters of the author’s name.

The system is pretty simple when you get your head around it.

There are three digits before a decimal point and between zero and about eight or so after the point, although we don’t go above three in the ILC. 000.0 – 999.99999999

The first number tells you what the general subject is (as above in the picture), and then each further one tells you more about the subject, and gets more specific.

For example, if you were looking for a book on generic “science” you’d look under 500

However, if you wanted Physics, you’d look for 530.

538 would get you magnetism.

538.3 is electromagnetism.

And, 538.36 is nuclear magnetic resonance

And if you wanted to get really specific, with electron paramagnetic resonance you could go directly to 538.364, and find just the book you needed.

Handy subject guide.

The ILC has some handy guides organised alphabetically by subject to help you find the right book. You can also search the catalogue by double clicking on the clever icon on the desktop when you log on at school. You can also use this map of the ILC to direct you by subject to the area you need.