Environmental Education: Low-Carbon Economies

This covers projects that employs new and innovative approaches to reduce carbon output and meet energy needs in view of building a sustainable future. This priority area can include, but is not limited to, projects related to the circular economy, recycling, reducing and reusing, and energy efficiency.

To inspire your thoughts, see examples of projects on low-carbon economies:

1.   St. Kizito Secondary School in Mukono District, Uganda

St. Kizito Secondary School

Source: Daily monitor

St. Kizito Secondary School considers all types of solid waste highly valued because it serves as a source of energy. The students participate in waste collection and later they sort the waste into categories.   The organic waste collected is converted into briquettes and the produced briquettes have replaced firewood which was initially being used at the school kitchen. Some organic waste which does not make good briquettes is then converted into biochar, organic fertilizer for the school gardens where they grow mushrooms, onions and cabbage. The students also use the silt they collect to create and maintain the school’s pavers, and they create arts and crafts. For instance, for the dirty straws, they wash them, soften them and then weave them into baskets, handbags, money purses, laptop bags, doormats and carpets.  The products made is then sold to parents and visitors of the school. For more Information: https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/august-november-2019/ugandan-students-turn-waste-wealth

2.   Students Convert Bus to Run on Biodiesel to Reduce Emissions

30 students at City Academy in Salt Lake City

Source: www.plt.org

30 students at City Academy in Salt Lake City Started a project of making biodiesel from used vegetable oil collected from a local restaurant with an aim of reducing their school’s CO2 emissions.   The idea came up when students were discussing alternative fuels while studying global warming and pollution in their science class.  The students have made over 250 gallons of biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil for their school bus. During the project, students have been in charge of various activities such as soliciting used vegetable oil donations, working with the health department to adhere to qualifications for oil collection, collecting the oil, making the fuel, filling the bus, and doing outreach and presentations to other groups about biodiesel.

The generation of biodiesel has enabled the school bus to shuttle students to the nearby mountain, a green demonstration house, a local recycling facility, on dozens of field trips for various classes, and even to an environmental youth conferences in Los Angeles. For more information: https://www.plt.org/story/students-convert-bus-biodiesel

3.  West Geauga High School in Chesterland, Ohio

Students at West Geauga High School in Chesterland, Ohio has built an outdoor classroom area with native plants, recycled plastic benches, and bridges on a nature trail through the woods near the school.  The project has enabled students to reduce litter and appreciate their environment more. The students started a newspaper, bottle can be recycling program, collecting more than 100 pounds of bottles and cans each week. They have also started a campaign to encourage use of reusable water bottles. The school has switched more than 400 incandescent bulbs to fluorescents and started a CFL recycling program. The students also helped four other schools start outdoor classrooms. For more information: http://www.westgeauga.k12.oh.us/

4.   Plastiki Rafiki

Plastiki Rafiki is a non-profit student-led club at the International School of Kenya (ISK), which started in early 2018.  The club is committed to cleaning local environment at the same time, empowering communities by supporting them to develop unique recycled plastic products such as jewelry, key chains, paddle ball sets, frisbees, bird houses, skateboards, flower pots, school chairs and they work on making recycled plastic benches for a local school using plastic the schoolkids collected from their community.

Plastiki Rafiki creates recycled products using a range of plastic moldings and subtractive manufacturing processes. ISK students build all the machines, with the help of the Open Source Plastic Recycling Community, and create all the product designs in the school’s Fabrication Lab.

The project focuses on plastic trash collection from natural areas, where it can make the most significant visible difference, keeping these spaces pristine and discouraging future pollution.  The collection made are based on locations where the plastic rubbish was collected. For example, “Kenya Coast Collection” would be a collection made form   plastics collected at the Kenyan local beaches.

Besides, the profits made are used to further the development and design of low-cost plastic recycling machines, product design, and the promotion of grassroots plastic collection and recycling in Kenya.  For more Information: https://www.isk.ac.ke/about-isk-old/school-news/about-isk/school-news/story-details/~post/plastiki-rafiki-in-diani-20190923

5.     Old tire recycling, Senegal

Pupils in a School at Keur Moussa, Senegal is implementing a recycling project. The project entailed making benches out of old tires and rubbish. The students fill the tires with non-biodegradable waste and some dirt to form a strong, solid base. Once the tires are filled with waste and sand, they are wrapped with a wire mesh and covered in a mixture of cement and water, then left dry and later painted.

Initially, the school did not have garbage bins, but when the projected started, the school started to install garbage bins. The students consider rubbish, as a valuable resource because it forms a huge part their project.  The project was started as a way to help authorities in Senegal with their efforts to fight pollution   that results from usage of plastic materials. It was also started as a way of teaching other students about waste management and recycling. According to teachers the project has created more awareness about keeping the school clean and organizing waste. The project has enabled the school to be clean and so far the project has built seven benches at the Keur Moussa Secondary School.  For more information: https://www.africanews.com/2017/05/31/senegalese-recycling-initiative-turns-waste-into-colorful-benches//

6.   Trunk Butte School in Chadron, Nebraska

Trunk Butte School in Chadron, Nebraska is considered a green school. It is focusing on the second “R” in the 3 R (“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The school is reusing items that would normally be placed in the landfill and turning them into functional tools, art, and shelter.

Please note that the projects exemplified here are not to be duplicated in your submission, they are only to inspire your thoughts. Projects that will be selected for the programme must be innovative and address a challenge or need in your context