Recycling

Action at Guardian Angel Resource Centre, Ħamrun

At the beginning of the scholastic year 2015-2016, an environmental review was carried out at Guardian Angel Resource Centre. Together with the EkoSkola committee it was agreed that the first initiative on the action plan would be, ‘waste separation’. This would therefore involve all the school staff and students. The process: Recycled boxes were painted in blue and white to separate plastic and paper respectively. Every last week of the month, students go around all classes to weigh green bags. To encourage participation and as a merit of success, a certificate is being given out to the class with the largest amount of kilos of separated waste during that month.     Evaluation: During the first term, the resource centre managed to separate more than 53 kilos of separated waste. Student are now used to paper and plastic recycling signs and most of them are able to separate waste on their own initiative. Furthermore, the school staff is now more aware of how much waste is circulated daily.

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Global Action Days

It’s that time of the year again. Time to act and help the environment! The Global Action Days is a campaign by the Foundation for Environmental Education to activate students and teachers to lead the change for a more sustainable world by getting involved in fun-filled, informative, activities. Participating in constructive, meaningful actions helps young people to see the point of being involved, and aids their understanding of what they can do themselves to help the environment. It’s all very simple. Plan your action, document the action by taking pictures, making a video or writing an article, register your school online and SHARE with the rest of the world on our Global Action Days Facebook page in the week of 9-15 November 2015. The chosen theme for Global Days of Action 2015 is Climate Change because of the Climate Conference known as COP21 which takes place in Paris later this year. The conference is about all governments agreeing to a deal to significantly reduce man-made Climate Change. As Climate Change is such a huge topic, FEE believes it is the ideal theme to focus on in 2015. All information on how to join this action can be found on www.ecoschools.global/global-action-days #globalactiondays #FEE #EcoSchools The Global Action Booklet is also available here.

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Project ideas we did and want to share!

At St Francis School, Victoria, we took a lot of initiatives throughout the year.  The following is just a list to say briefly what we did and perhaps give others ideas of what can be done… 1.    Treasure Hunt and Sports Day – Tokens were given to all students who took part. All tokens were made by Teachers and LSA’s and were made from reusable/recycled materials. Ex. a pencil holder. 2.    Models related to water – All the children were asked to design a model to give others ideas about how to save water. Ex. a shower rather than a bath as a model. 3.     Earth Day – Lights off around the whole school- classrooms, office, toilets, interactive white boards, computers, bells – all were switched off for a whole hour and we calculated that we used 13% less electricity on that day! 4.      Recycled Models – Children participated eagerly. They made models of their choice using only recycled materials. Ex. A Carnival Float made of recycled things 5.      Enjoying Reading while Saving money – All the children were asked to bring books. In class, children exchanged books between them. Thus saving money from not buying new books. 6.      Reusable Bottles, Napkins and Lunch Boxes – All children are encouraged to bring reusable bottles, napkins and lunch boxes. A member from the School Council checked that everybody got the right type of bottles, napkins and lunch boxes. Now all students are doing this! 7.       Included used materials when teaching – All the teachers, when conducting lessons tried their best to use recycled materials. Ex. Year 1: During Religion used cereal boxes for the topic Holqien.       Year 4: While painting in Science used Frott Artna Containers.       Year 6: During Maths used cereal cardboard to measure angles. Actually a lot more related initiatives were taken in school during the year.                                                                                        Ylenia Grech

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The work that led us to the Green Flag

Along the year, the Eco-School committee keeps record of the activities and events organized to help the school environment. These are recorded in the ‘Action Plan’ and in the ‘Eco-School committee file’. 

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Litter Management

The litter bins in the yard were properly labelled for separation of waste.  A number of identical cardboard boxes were collected, labelled and placed in each classroom for the separation of paper and plastic waste.  Wheely bins were placed on each floor for collection of waste. A noticeboard in the primary section and another in the secondary section were set up  in line with ‘Bin it Well’ campaign which showed by actual examples, how waste should be separated. Noticeboards set up to promote proper separation of waste: Bin it Well Campaign – primary noticeboard Bin it Well Campaign – secondary noticeboard Eco-wardens in the primary and Eco-agents in the secondary were appointed to monitor litter management.  These assessed cleanliness and proper waste separation in the primary classes and then award the green class of the week by a ‘green flag’. Green Class of the Week – Class being awarded the Green Flag Two Eco-wardens wearing identification badges.  

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The Cloth Bag Project

Each girl was given a plain cloth bag to paint and decorate as she wishes.  She was also told to create her own environmental logo on one side of  the bag. Children often carry an extra bag to school for extracurricular activities or other necessities.  For this reason our school thought of giving each child a cloth bag which they would make their own by decorating it with their own painted creations and ideas.  One side however was to be an environmental message which the student believes in.  The girls really enjoyed doing this task and are very proud of their new bags.  Once finished the bags were left to dry completely and where passed on to the girls on Environment Day each year. Artists at Work! The girls were asked to create their own environmental logo and they painted one side at a time. One would appreciate that this task needed time as after creating the design, the bags needed to be left to dry before each student could carry on with the other side of the bag. Hanging up the masterpieces to dry Here we can see two sizes of bags being hung up to dry.  The little ones belong to the KG11 and to Year one students as all the members of the primary school participated. Creating a personal environmental logo! Each girl was free to choose the logo they wished.  Some tackled the trees, the sea creatures, climate change, etc.

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Minimizing and Recycling Litter

Our goal is to raise awareness of how easy it is to minimize misuse of energy, as well as learning how to properly manage waste. This resulted in the collection and recycling of used plastic bottles and their caps, which will be exchanged for money to be donated to a charitable organisation. Based on the seven EkoSkola steps, our committee began with an environmental audit of the school premises. This was followed by a review, where the two main shortcomings were pointed out: litter and energy. In order to address these two issues, an awareness campaign was set up to help fellow students and school staff become better informed of the problem and ways in which to improve the situation. Morning assemblies and various notice boards scattered throughout the school were useful tools in communicating our intentions more efficiently to as many students as possible, encouraging them to be more active. We also made our presence felt in the school tenth bike marathon in order to reach a wider public, as this activity attracts a lot of media attention. A more hands-on phase was the collection of used paper and plastic bottles, as well as their caps, which can be exchanged for money when delivered for recycling. It was interesting for us to learn that there are 5 different types of plastic, resulting in the caps being recycled separately. This activity helped us hit two birds with one stone as we benefitted not only the environment, but also those in need by donating the money put together. Collecting Used Bottle Caps Students were encouraged to place the collected bottle caps in the purpose-made recycled containers. Paper and Plastic Bins The committee collected used boxes and these were made more presentable thanks to the new cover and appropriate labels.

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Waste separation project

The separation of waste project involved the purchase of 240 bins which were distributed in classrooms for the separation of plastic and paper waste. The EkoSkola committee decided that all classrooms and offices be equipped with plastic bins (white and blue) for the separation of plastic and paper.  Samples of bins were collected and the most appropriate bins were chosen.  In all 240 bins were purchased.  Furthermore the labels on the bins were designed by the students themselves through a whole school competition.  The best labels were chosen by the EkoSkola committee and printed on stickers which were then stuck on the bins. Large bins for the separation of waste were placed in photocopy room, library, tuckshop and staff rooms.  Bring in sites were also placed in the school grounds.  In May EkoSkola organised a whole school activity with the aim to emphasise the importance of re-use.  This involved the transformation of a plastic bottle into a useful container. “Nibdlu 1000 f’ghaxar minuti” This was a whole school activity.  It involved the transformation of a  softdrink plastic bottle into a useful container using only a pair of scissors. The aim was to re-use things before recycling them hence minimising waste.  1200 bottles were changed into containers in less than 10 minutes.

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Appreciating the environment – Dinja Waħda

The students are encouraged to appreciate the different aspects of the environment focusing on biodiversity and the various creatures found in Malta. Throughout the year teachers prepare activities to help students understand and learn the beauties of the World that surrounds them, appreciate them and feel the need to take care of them. The children realise that biodiversity is on decline as a result of the way we are living and because of this many creatures and their habitats are disappearing. 

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Greenhouse made from used plastic bottles

We collected used plastic bottles to make a green house.  The Local Council made the skeleton for the green house.  The students painted it and put the bottles in place.  The school caretakers fixed the ‘bottle sticks’ in place to make up the green house. Painting the greenhouse skeleton The finished greenhouse full of plants brought by students.  The students themselves take care of them.

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