At the Pregny Early Years Centre, a cohort of Eco-Heroes is in training in each of the campus’ classes. The Eco-Heroes are none other than the students themselves who, enthusiastic about the Eco-Schools initiative, have decided to dedicate themselves to the protection of the environment. Willing to sacrifice their lunch breaks to participate in this project, it must be said that they are not heroes for nothing.
Their motivations? Their love of animals, of the planet, of the forest, of nature, but also the fun and stimulating aspect of dedicating themselves to a worthy action. With one or two Eco-Ambassadors chosen per class, the project also found adepts among parents and staff – who have become Eco-Parents and Eco-Staff. With a full functioning Eco-Committee, they had to choose an Eco-Project for the year. The verdict: waste reduction!
The Eco-Heroes on a Mission to Reduce Waste
The first step was very important because, before waste could be reduced, it had to be weighed. So the Eco-Committee decided to weigh all Pregny waste over a period of one week: compost, aluminium, PET, and paper, not to mention ordinary bins. It was therefore necessary to distribute tasks in order to cover all the areas of the school: classrooms, teachers’ lounge, staff rooms, outside garbage bins and even the food waste from the school caterer Novae.
Every day, thanks to the support and assistance of the Eco-Parents, of the Pregny technical team and the Novae team, the Eco-Heroes managed to weigh all the garbage. Based on the results which were all recorded in kilograms (or by unit for PET bottles), they quickly established a diagnosis of the situation. They then reflected on Eco-Actions which they could adopt in order to preserve their environment: to recycle and avoid wasting water, food and paper at all costs.
At the end of each month, Pregny organises an Eco-Assembly with the entire school so that the Eco-Heroes can present the results of their research and encourage their classmates to adopt the Eco-Actions. After all, the old adage “united we stand and divided we fall” is all too true when it comes to the protection of the environment.
Working closely with the association J’aime ma planète, the Eco-Committee also adopted their calendar on the theme “10 months, 10 actions for my planet”, which proposes an Eco-Deed to work on each month. For example, the theme for the month of October was “I eat healthy, I wrap smartly”, which explored different packaging options for snacks as well as healthy eating. Later on, in November, students focused on “The 4 Rs” of waste: recycle, reduce, reuse and repair.
Celebrating Earth Day
On May 2nd, Pregny will celebrate International Earth Day, a key date for the Eco-Committee, who will help create greater ecological awareness and encourage fellow classmates to think about their roles as Eco-Citizens in the protection of the environment. Throughout the day, they will participate in various workshops such as “waste-hunting” or the manufacture of “friendly seed bombs” to disperse during the spring.
The International School of Geneva, and its Pregny campus in particular, has adopted the Eco-Schools initiative. Starting with their class environment, then that of their school, and finally of their larger community, it encourages young people to actively engage in the protection of the environment. Combining theoretical learning with hands-on, practical exercises, this programme involves an all-inclusive, participative approach that brings together students, teachers, technical and administrative staff, and parents.