You’re never too young to start learning about sustainable living. By teaching our children about the importance of protecting our environment, we’re providing them with the skills and knowledge to become environmental ambassadors for life.
With this mindset, GreenHub travelled to Viet Hoa Primary School (Viet Hoa ward, Hai Duong province) to participate in a special ceremony to launch a new environmental program for the school in conjunction with Ford. GreenHub director Tran Thi Hoa presented in front of hundreds of students, sharing with them about the impact students can make at a local level. Using the case study of GreenHub’s work in a local school in Phu Yen, Ms Hoa shared how students there have dramatically reduced waste and are leading by example to other members of the community. She also encouraged the students to be responsible citizens both now and into the future. Ms Hoa shared with the students:
“The first step in creating change is awareness. Once we are aware of an issue, such as plastic pollution, we will be compelled to change our behaviour as we can no longer act in a way that is inconsistent with our knowledge. Finally, this behaviour change will become part of who we are, defining our very essence, as it becomes part of our ethics and value system. Your identity will shift and it will become part of who you are: that you are someone who does not use single use plastic and cares for our environment.”
Students also participated in a range of interactive activities to learn more about the impacts of plastic pollution on our environment and the solutions we have available. Students undertook activities to learn about how they can sort and recycle waste, and about the lifecycle of waste and how long it takes to breakdown. Students also participated in a runway show, wearing costumes they had created out of recycled materials.
These activities all contributed to the major message of the day: waste can be a valuable resource if you see it in a different light. By implementing the 5Rs: refus, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot, we can dramatically minimise the amount of waste that we dispose of and better care for our world.
As part of the morning, Ford provided reusable shopping bags for everybody in attendance. The introduction of reusable bags is in response to the identification by the school community of an over reliance on plastic bags and will provide an easy alternative to this. Additionally, Ford also provided new bins for the school which enable students to now sort their rubbish. Importantly, it is not just the process of waste sorting that has been supported but they will also collect the separated waste, ensuring it will be properly disposed of and helping to ensure that waste management is a circular process.
GreenHub will continue to work with the school to provide support and guidance as they implement a new waste collection strategy. GreenHub is excited to pursue this new relationship. We hope this encourages other schools to adopt similar strategies regarding waste management.
The enthusiasm and excitement of the students to adopt new measures to minimise their waste and begin recycling was inspiring to see. It reminded us that no matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, everyone can participate in our collective duty to protect our environment.