It is yet another project aimed at the young audience, or in other words an audience that is sensitive, curious about the world, fast-learning but also a demanding and easily-bored, unless the initial interest is not maintained, audience. The main beneficiaries of the project, as usual in such cases, are children and the environment. However, it would be impossible to forget the role of the very family and local community environment. It indeed always happens that the success of the project is determined by the kindergarten staff, parents and the closest family.
It is the closest environment (or surroundings) that is the decisive factor about how a child perceives the project, how it will identify themselves with the project, and how it will disseminate the knowledge that it obtains during the project and what attitude towards the idea of the project it assumes. We are not able to determine this in precise terms as the shaping of the features of the character is long term and it is influenced by a great number of factors. We know, however, that interesting activities that introduce new knowledge that creates feelings of respect in the child, that is expressed by respected figures such as the kindergarten teacher, mum, dad, grandma, and other family members, is always a stimulating factor for the child to gain further knowledge and skills. The more interesting and colourful the project activities are, the more intense the experience of the project content is. In this project, executed within the borders of the Łódź voivodeship, the most relevant issues were the following:
- Increase of children awareness about the amount of packaging waste in the contemporary Poland and world.
- Ability to handle packaging waste and ability to use packaging waste.
- Ability to avoid accumulation of excessive packaging waste.
Taking into account the fact that with the children, a whole family circle and the local community learnt altogether, the project created a new way of perceiving the problem of the increasing amount of packaging waste. Neither the children, nor important-for-the-children adults possessed this knowledge. The reason was prosaically simple. It is the increasing, over the last several years, consumption that causes the increase in the amount of packaging, and therefore the packaging waste. Nowadays the aim for Poland is to obtain the results that highly developed countries, such as Austria or Sweden, obtained. In these countries the increase in consumption has not caused an increase in packaging waste. It simply means that in intelligent regulations, cutting-edge technology solutions, and most importantly in the collective awareness of the societies of these countries, lies the key to the solution of the waste packaging problem.
In this project the following forms and actions were employed:
- Lesson/talk for of pre-school and school age children.
- Theme-based games and activities.
- Technical activities.
- “EKO-Refurbishment” action was based on checking in one’s nearest environment ,e.g. in one’s school bag, pencil-case, and so on, items that can be used only once and, as much as possible, exchanging them for multiple use items.
- designing the most interesting and the most original work made out of waste that can be used in the daily life as for example decoration, help, toy, etc.,
- collection of the biggest amount of packaging waste (paper) by each group,
- Investigating in one’s surroundings, for example within the area of one’s housing estate, school for availability of segregated waste containers, and if not, attempting to determine why they are not present and what can be done for them to be installed.
- “EKO-container” action – preparation, by groups, of space in their classroom for placement of containers for waste segregation, conversion of packaging waste into mini-containers for waste segregation, that would be placed in a determined location in the classroom. “Eko-Shopping” action – a trip to the school shop with the aim of carrying out exemplary shopping whose aim would be to show how to shop wisely in order not to produce waste.
- Distribution of “EKO-Rules” informing about the correct waste segregation, and encouraging correct waste handling.
- Carrying out a survey on the packaging waste by the parents taking part in the project.
- Promotion of the key-words and key-phrases related to waste and its correct segregation.
- Promotion of collective responsibility attitude for the environment condition which each community (parents, teachers, students of a class, school) lives in.
The execution of the project lasted 4 months and was divided into two stages. The first of them spanned a period from the 15th of March until the 14th of May 2015. The second one spanned a period from the 15th of May until the 15th of July 2015. Two groups of 30 children participated in the project. 60 children altogether. About 2 tons of packaging waste was collected through the project. The atmosphere and the character of the achieved results in form of the designs of participants’ imagination is demonstrated in a gallery. We warmly invite you, on behalf of the Authors, to view it.