School children have been longing for some years for playground equipment to play with in the school yards, and other useful equipment like bookshelves & racks to be used in their classrooms. But instead of buying new equipment, our school community took the opportunity and decided to work on ‘Dematerialisation – Doing more with less’ during the ‘EWWR’ to contribute through awareness raising on waste reduction while delivering the same level of functionality.
Thus we collected some unwanted products such as palettes and by stimulating creativity we transferred them into a reuse system and changed them into beautiful classroom/school furniture and playground equipment, instead of eventually becoming waste.
Furthermore, to lessen the amount of emissions so to contribute to climate change, Palettes, where it was possible, were transported to our school by means of a hand trolley even by our students themselves, so to use lower-emission transport.
Always keeping in mind that young children are our future society, we enhanced awareness on using these unwanted/second hand products to make out new ones by promoting how it is possible to extend their life and how to achieve the same function of a product:- products that eventually were prevented from ending up as waste and some of which are normally thrown out.
As we didn’t want to keep the message within our community but wanted to make the people of the outer community aware that we can get even better services from reusable products this was all done at our school involving teachers, enthusiastic students and also many parents so to spread out the message of dematerialisation. We all worked together as a community and especially from the students’ faces one could see them enthusiastically working on the project with lots of fun but with great responsibility and awareness whilst instilling meaningful skills for waste management.
We made a promotion for this activity and Information was given to parents and to students’ relatives beforehand about the project. During parents’ day an information stand was depicted in our school foyer so to explain the importance of ‘EWWR’ and the purpose of our actions to all people who visited our school. Students enthusiastically had the important role to explain this to parents and to all the visitors the process of how the product was made all from unwanted material.
Thus we can say that by means of these products which were changed into new material besides that providing the school with a powerful tool to encourage the school community to look after the environment, we entirely involved ourselves into the ‘EWWR’ not only for this particular week but also throughout our lives as we managed to reinforce in our students a sense of great awareness and responsibility as future European citizens who surely also managed to pass on the message not only to their parents but also to the outer community. Besides promoting in them a sense of wellbeing and pride when they see the school furniture/equipment done from unwanted material, we can also say that it was great fun working together as teachers, students, parents and other people for this good cause.