The month of June was a significant month for environmentalist. Educators as nurturers of the future should not be left out in this important event.
June 5 is set aside to mark the celebration of nature. Popularly known as World Environment Day (WED), it is a day that enables us raise awareness on environmental issues worldwide. This year was no expectation with an important theme “ CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE” which was targeted at ensuring people have a personal responsibility to the environment.
This theme couldn't have come at a much better time when the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Even the American people have wildly condemned this. What President Trump has failed to realise is that this agreement is not a quick fix to a now problem and this agreement is not just about America first, it is “EARTH FIRST.” The Earth is our legacy it is what we leave behind that will be our scorecard that our future children will judge us by.
How can we therefore champion environmental change in our schools? How can we ensure our future children connect with nature? How can we ensure sustainability? So many ways to bring about environmental change however one significant way is through RECYCLING
WHAT IS RECYCLING?
Recycling is the process of converting waste material into new materials and object. It is one of the most important actions currently available to reducing our human impacts in order to preserve the environment. It provides opportunities to reduce oil usage, carbon dioxide emissions and the quantities of waste requiring disposal in our already overflowing landfill.
Understanding Recycling is crucial and has significant benefit for the environment and should become a natural and important part of our everyday life to ensure a sustainable future.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFIT OF RECYCLING
- Recycling reduces the amount of waste going into a landfill, helping to prolong its useful life
- Recycling saves energy and “greenhouse gas emissions”
- Recycling saves natural resources such as oil and water
- Recycling reduces pollution
- Recycling provides raw material for industry
- Recycling make a difference. (Reduces global warming).
WHY SET UP A RECYCLING SYSTEM FOR YOUR SCHOOL
Recycling will not only benefit the environment but it could also help your school to save money.
Setting up a recycling system is a hands-on process that educates students and staff, about the environment, sustainability, personal responsibility, community action and natural resources action.
A Recycling Policy can be incorporated into a school's Environmental Plan. The School's recycling program will impact students, their families, and the overall waste diversion of our environment. It will also provide an opportunity for the school to gain public recognition for its achievements.
QUICK STEPS TO SETTING UP A RECYCLING SYSTEM FOR YOUR SCHOOL
- Consult your recycling specialist who will conduct a waste audit for your school. They will provide you all the information you need and will be able to answer pertinent questions such as materials that can be collected, how materials can be separated, types of containers needed etc.
- Appoint recycling coordinators in your school (staff and students) that will supervise and ensure the recycling program is carried out as planned.
- Organise training session(s) that will educate those involved in the program.
- Contact your recycling collectors to schedule arrangements on pick up and incentives that are available for recycling items.
Maintaining a recycling program is a critical component to ensure longevity and success. Therefore, everyone’s involvement is necessary to provide a sustainable environment for generations to come.
Article was published in the Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) July Newsletter. It was written by Wunmi Ogunde, Co-Founder/CEO of Ecoprune