Clearer Conscience currently looks after the recycling efforts at several schools in and around Cape Town. We have also made presentations to pupils and hopefully this has given them greater insight into some of the concerns our environment is facing.
But are school recycling initiatives enough?
They certainly make recycling visible. In our experience since 2008, adoption of recycling has increased tremendously when it has been made easy and visible for people. Make sure bins are located in easily accessible places and clearly marked; place posters on walls to remind people about what can be recycled; interact with your recycling collection service to gain feedback about the volumes that are being collected and see how that can be improved.
However, this is only one aspect of education that needs to be addressed. Think of Greta Thunberg and the huge effect she has had on awareness. She is an example of how children care and how their actions can effect change. What’s the best way to reach children? Surely, when they are at school…
“With so much focus on children – the ones who will have to live with the coming ecological disaster – the role of education is key. This summer has seen unprecedented wildfires and floods. Pupils see scenes of biblical devastation on the news, but in many schools they are not being given the required information or context and this can lead to misunderstanding or anxiety.” (Guardian, 19/08/21)
The classroom provides a perfect setting to convey messages regarding environmental issues. For a topic so important, why is there not more emphasis given to it? We call on educational leaders across Cape Town, the Western Cape, South Africa and the world, and the world, to incorporate lessons concerning the importance of environmental matters and what can be done to address them.