#EWWRAwards finalists || Educational Establishment • IES Valle De Aller
The EWWR Awards finalists have been announced! In each category the Jury has selected their top 3 finalists. The winners will be revealed on 22 May in Brussels during the EWWR Awards Ceremony. To find out more about the finalists, their initiative and commitment for waste reduction, we have caught up with them for a short interview.
1 • What is your action “Sustainable development begins with education” about?
It is a series of simple, practical and useful activities for our daily life that can be carried out in order to make pupils and their families aware of the huge amount of waste they produce. The aim is to encourage them to act by the “3Rs” approach: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. As part of our action, we developed a campaign promoting reduction and recycling. Thus, we have created various materials about the environmental benefits of paper, plastic, glass and WEE recycling. We have also initiated a poster contest to raise awareness about waste as well as developed a solidarity act in order to give new life to used items such as clothes, toys and others. Lastly, we addressed the issue of sustainability at our canteen by cooking with seasonal local products, banning packaged juices and products prepared with palm oil.
2 • How did you come across this idea?
We usually do these activities throughout the year in our Health Project, so we came up with the idea to bring them all together in a week in order to participate in the EWWR. We know that Education is the basis for development, and this is what we try to demonstrate as we are celebrating our 50th anniversary.
The photographs of the pollution of the river Citarum and documentaries on the topic helped us to realize the serious problem in which the planet is today. Therefore, we decided that it would be a good idea to see our students committed, aware and working with a shared purpose: the protection of the environment, since “everything is possible if we believe in it”. We were sure that all of these actions would not only have an impact on the students but also motivate the teachers, families, towns and villages around the school. Our aim is that all the activities result in a lasting behavioural change.
3 • Why is waste reduction important for your organisation?
The dumping site of Asturias is almost filled. We know that in one or two years we will have no place to deposit the enormous amount of waste we generate every day. Therefore, it is necessary that our students, their families and the faculty are aware of the importance and the need for the reduction, reuse and recycling.
In addition, our region is known throughout the world as the “Natural paradise”, and we must thank for it to the natural water surrounding it. To preserve this fundamental resource, it is necessary to raise awareness on waste reduction in order to avoid water contamination. With this action, we are helping our planet and teaching people that a throw-away culture is wasteful and destroying our planet. Especially since the problem of waste is an international one, due to waste moving around to other places in the world.
Besides protecting the environment, we are also helping people: WEE recycling avoids wars and slavery, our plastic bottle caps collection campaign helps children with rare diseases and our clothes, toys and junks collection campaign helps families of limited financial resources.
4 • Where can we find you?