Actions in 2019

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Meet the #EWWRAwards Finalists: the ALP School in Malta on waste cooking oil

The EWWR Awards finalists have been announced! In each category, the Jury has selected their top 3 finalists . The winners will be revealed on 15 May in Brussels during the EWWR Awards Ceremony. In the days and weeks to come, we will introduce you the nominees one by one. Today, we would like you to present you the action organised by the ALP school in Malta, as described by teacher and organiser Catherine Polidano. The initiative was nominated for an award in the Educational establishment category.

What did the action that you organised consist of?

Our action for the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) 2018 aimed to produce a clear and engaging message about how to dispose of waste cooking oil in a simple way, without harming the sewerage system, water treatment systems and the environment. Moreover, we wanted to reach as many of Malta’s 63,000 households as possible.

To this end, we undertook an initiative that focused on understanding people’s behaviour towards waste cooking oil and raising awareness about its correct disposal. First, we sought went to our town square and interviewed community members about their disposal of waste cooking oil. We then produced an informative video and did a write-up on its correct disposal.

We then formulated and implemented a strategy on how to maximise the dissemination and impact of our message. We organised an informative assembly for the three hundred students and one hundred staff members in our school. We appointed them ambassadors of our message and urged them to spread the message in their homes.

The Maltese Minister for Education helped spread our message through his Twitter account. We drafted engaging articles, which were sent and featured on various social media platforms, including the Facebook page of the Malta Ministry for Education, which has over 40,000 followers. We undertook a persistent PR campaign so that national TV stations, radios, newspapers and online news portals featured our awareness raising articles and video link. The Malta Department of Information sent our message through the Malta Government Intranet to over 37,000 public service employees. Malta’s sixty-eight local councils collaborated by emailing our message to their subscribed residents.

We wanted to target specifically people who like to cook. So we contacted TV cooking celebrities, who publicised our message during their broadcast programmes, on online gourmet platforms and on social media cooking-related pages.

How did you come up with the idea?

The Alternative Learning Programme School is a school which offers vocational (mainly technical) hands-on courses for students between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. ‘Learning by doing’ is the school’s ethos in a nutshell.

We offer about twenty five vocational courses and one of them is Multimedia and IT Applications. In this course, students learn about video production and photography. Another school aim is to embed basic social values in learning and to give meaning to what we do by focusing on the realities of our students, our communities and society.

For this reason, a Multimedia teacher and her students decided to apply learning by doing by producing a feature which would help people learn how to dispose of waste cooking. We started to raise awareness by going to the town square and speaking with people about this issue. We researched the harm that waste cooking oil does. Together with the Drama team, the students prepared the video script and produced the video with the help of the Multimedia teacher.

Once ready, it was time to spread the message. The Action Developer helped formulate and implement a strategy to maximise the dissemination of our message.

Why is waste reduction important for you and your organisation?

As a school, we strive to uphold our responsibility to instill environmental values in our students.

It is important to do so, as the students will, in turn, help instill waste reduction values in their present and future families.

We are aware that, to mitigate climate change and resource depletion, schools have the moral duty to convey to their students the importance of waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

Additionally, we aim to share our good environmental practices so as to inspire and help other schools reduce waste generation and adopt environmentally responsible school practices.

Where can people reach you if they have questions?

At the address below:

Action Developer: Catherine Polidano

School Address: ALP School, Guze D’Amato Street, Paola, PLA 1248

School Email: alp.paola@ilearn.edu.mt

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