Green schools

Schoolchildren have come up with an eco-action and traced the pathway of waste

Schoolchildren have come up with an eco-action and traced the pathway of waste

About 70 schoolchildren and teachers in Belarus are participating in the environmental action “Clean planet: the mission is possible”. The gymnasium No. 19 in Minsk initiated the action. The idea was supported by the National Centre for Ecology and Local Studies, Barysaŭ Center for Ecology and Tourism, Smarhoń gymnasium, Minsk gymnasium No. 33, National Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Disabilities. The organizer of the action is the Project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level” (“Green Schools”). The Project funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Belarus. The action is conducted with the support of the Belgips-ECO and Unitary Enterprise “Spetskommunavtotrans”.

First, the young people visited the waste landfill and waste processing factory close to Minsk. They participated in interactive lectures on waste directly on the landfills. Now the schoolchildren shall try out making videos on the environment. The action shall complete on 1 October on the World Habitat Day (designated by the UN in 1986). Municipal Solid Waste Management is the topic of the 2018 World Habitat Day.

Why did the participants of the action decide to visit specifically the landfill and waste processing factory? This is a unique opportunity to trace the whole pathway of waste, to see the technologies that help to preserve our nature with one’s own eyes.

Now we have to protect the planet from anthropogenic impact more and more. Do you know that one battery not disposed into a special container can pollute 20 square meters of soil with heavy metals, such as mercury, nickel, cadmium, lead, lithium? Heavy metals tend to accumulate in living organisms, including human body. The air is also affected by anthropogenic factors. According to the recent data of the World Health Organization, 9 out of 10 people breathe air with high concentration of pollutants.

The action “Clean planet: the mission is possible” draws attention to the fact that the ecosystems are interconnected. Having influenced one ecosystem, the humanity affects the other ones as well. For example, the waste generated by towns is collected in the landfills. If the landfill goes deeper than 5 meters into the ground, methane is getting released into the environment. This impacts the quality of air, causes greenhouse effect, increases the risk of fire and harm to health. The more shall we reduce the amount of generated waste: collect waste separately, recycle, the less impact we shall make on the environment, the cleaner the ground waters shall be, the more landfills may be occupied by forests.

Why does the action “Clean planet: the mission is possible” engages primarily youth? The action is organized within the framework of the Project that aims to develop the “Green Schools” movement in Belarus among other things. The optional course that is being developed for the “Green Schools” under the Project, shall include such topics as waste management, biodiversity, water saving and etc.

The European Union that is funding the Project, prioritizes the issues of the environment and work with youth.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus is the national partner to a number of environmental projects and has been supporting the development of the “Green Schools” since 2010.

Nowadays, there is a need for environmental education. We hope that young generation will become an example of living in harmony with our planet.

Separate waste collection.

Refusal from single use plastic.

Refusal from buying new items in cases when one can mend the old ones.

It’s easy and it works!