4 R SUPERHERO – Reduce – Recycle – Reuse – Refuse Plastic. Secondary School Nr. 1 Lehliu- Gara,
Our project, named 4 R SUPERHERO, started from a pupil’s question: “Mrs, I saw on television that a baby pilot whale was found dead on Thailand’s coast and in his body they found a large quantity of approximately 8 kg of plastic! How did the plastic get there?” What can we do? We looked for all the possible answers, we discovered them together and although we only are a drop in the ocean, we decided to start this project to reduce the quantity of plastic, to recycle, to reuse and last but not least, to refuse plastic, the plastic bag at the store.
We recycled all the older clothing, we sewed fabric bags, and afterwards we looked for volunteers among parents and grandparents to sew. We then gave these bags as a gift to our colleagues from school and to people on the street.
A story of change facilitated by Mrs Rucareanu Ioana
List the problems identified by the pupils:
- Lack of an events hall
- Bins for selective garbage collection
- Lack of water fountains
- Lack of a playground in the school yard
- Green space almost nonexistent around school
- The stress generated by tutoring classes
- Pollution triggered by the Bunge Factory
- Garbage on the street and in the park
- A large number of dogs without owner
- Parents living abroad
- Little time spent with parents
- Commuting for pupils who come from neighboring villages
Explain what problem was chosen to be solved and why.
Pupils involved in this activity, study in this school year the optional module “Eco-Education for Green Schools”, where they learn about Sustainable Development, about a sustainable life and how to protect the environment. Hence, they shifted their attention towards environmental problems from the village they live in. First they identified sources of pollution from the town Lehliu-Gara, and then, they focused on the number one cause – plastic pollution.
What people are most affected by this problem? What is bothering them?
Generally speaking, both the kids and the adults are bothered by this problem and last but not least, the living creatures around us! Pupils from school were interviewed with regards to this issue and they established to solve this through ways available to them!
List all the solutions you thought of.
To eliminate plastic, students identified the following solutions:
- Replacing plastic water bottles
- Eliminating of plastic bags
- Reducing the use of plastic recipients to deposit food
- Creative recycling
- Composting plastic containers
- No more use of dispensers
- Selective collection of general waste
- Recycling plastic toys
- Refusal of small objects made of plastic
- Reducing the use of clothing made out of polyester
Which of these solutions was chosen to implement and why?
After they have carefully analysed the solutions, they thought of experimenting and apply the idea with eliminating plastic bags. At the optional classes and at the geography classes they watched short documentaries about plastic pollution. They saw that although this problem does not influence them directly, the fact that they have become dependent on plastic, they affect nature, animals living in the sea (because a fair amount of plastic on Earth ends up in rivers and oceans) and last but not least, their health is affected. If we deal with such a large amount of plastic now, how will future generations manage this problem? Using this question as a starting point, they took action with the campaign “Be COOL, don’t use the plastic bag!” and came up with alternatives to replace this. They imagined how they will solve the identified problem and how the campaign will
They made a plan of action where they identified the resources they needed and organised activities with a certain timeframe and decided who will manage each activity.
Briefly describe the process of implementing your solution/solutions
And our story started … following the established plan from the previous phase, each team jumped into the action of making fabric bags!
Captain America Group was involved in the recycling of some clothing. They spread the word and in a week they collected the necessary materials for the Wonder Woman Group, which was in charge of sewing the fabric bags.
In the meantime Superman identified volunteers among mothers and grandmothers, to whom they sent the moulds made by their colleagues. These moulds would then become fabric bags!
Aquaman Group put together different materials that were posted at the information point dedicated to the project, materials through which pupils were informed about what the usage of plastic means and what they could do to reduce its effect.
Once the fabric bags were coming from the dressmakers, their accessorization started. Accessories were created by the pupils in their free time!
Finally, over 100 fabric bags were given to the colleagues from other classes as a gift and also to other members of the community!
What are the results or the impact of your project?
As a result of the project, 100 pupils from our school (10 pupils from each secondary class), replaced the plastic bag, they were using for their gym clothing or for clothes for different activities, with the fabric bag! In town 14 fabric bags were given!
How many people benefited from your solution?
More than 100 people
What did the people who benefited from the solution say? Write 2 quotes or opinions.
“What a great idea! I really am cool with my denim fabric bag!”
“You did these? Can I help?” asked a granny on the street!”
What difficulties did you encounter while implementing the project and how did you overcome them?
We didn’t encounter difficulties, maybe the fact that half of the time the project took place was holiday and we didn’t really have time to meet up!
But, group mobilisation was excellent!
How long did it take to implement the solution?
Over 30 days
What did you do to promote the project in your school or in the community? With whom did the pupils talk to about the project? What answers did they receive?
In order for all people to find out about their story, the Batman group had the duty to inform all the pupils in the school and the members of the community.
The informing was carried out on more levels:
A video was made, posted on YouTube
Promoting on the school Facebook Page
Creating a panel with information about the project
Informative sessions in the Teacher’s Council and at the parent’s meetings
They gave out flyers and fabric bags to people they met on the street
They went to Lehliu-Gara town hall and spoke to the representatives of the environment
Approximately, with how many people did you talk to about the project?
-more than 100 people
Briefly, how do you plan on sustaining the project in the future?
Surely our story will continue! We have so much to do! We are 500 students in the school and we are thinking that each one of them should receive a fabric bag!
There is another problem on our mind… plastic water bottles! We need to do something about this! If at the beginning of the story we imagined we are our prefered superheroes from other peoples’ stories… halfway through our story, we really became true SUPERHEROES in the battle against plastic!