Many people talk about sustainable living or “Maurice ile durable” as a great way to help the planet and its inhabitants, but for most people it is just a vague concept. First of all, we believe that we need to be aware of a number of ongoing green facts that may guide us. These facts must lead to changes in our everyday actions. With some thinking and planning we can take small steps each day towards a greener planet so that we can live more sustainably.
Through the ELIA-BEC programme ‘Education for Sustainability’ (EFS), our aim at Loreto College Curepipe (LCC) is to guide our students to live peacefully and sustainably on our planet; help them build a healthy future where ecological literacy becomes embedded in their everyday activities. Our motto “REUSSIR SA VIE AVANT DE REUSSIR DANS LA VIE “.
Taking time to recycle is one of the simplest steps towards sustainability that anybody can start immediately. Discarded trash does not magically disappear. It goes to landfills and take years to break down. Taking time to separate trash into recyclables and biodegradables can be very important and make a real difference.
In 2012, during the first term, we initiated the students with the concept of Ecological Footprint Analysis. The objective was to collect data for four different categories and to calculate the footprint—impact on the environment. For both the mentors and students of the program, the concept was vague. But we started collecting plastic bottles and ended up with 150 which we stored in the attic. We contacted the firms Powerplastic and Mission Verte, unfortunately they never came for collection (something that is now being addressed through the EFS programme).
We also completed the collection of data for the FOOD category. To be more ecological we decided to stop printing 100 questionnaires and instead view those via overhead projector. We selected students of all levels and during their activity classes they gathered the data for the EF analysis. Due to lack of time and human resource we could not make the EF for the remaining two categories. Now that EF has become embedded within the curriculum activities we no longer have to gather those data outside of school hours, which will make it a lot easier to continue to measure and improve our Ecological Footprint.
LCC Commitment to EFS
At the end of the year we had a small informal meeting with the mentors, teaching as well as non-teaching staff to discuss about the programme in order to re start the programme next year. These are our objectives for 2014:
- Launching of the LCC GO GREEN CLUB with our logo (designed by Mrs. BASSET)
- Setting up of an executive team
- Eco-agents for each form
- Campaigns on recycling
- Separation of wastes after school hours on Tuesdays and Fridays by the Form 5 and Upper 6 Eco Agents ( under the supervision of Mr. Dinesh )
- Celebration of important international days
- Conference on global warming ( AIESEC )
- Gardening initiative by AREU
- Rain harvesting
We completed most or our objectives but the main problem we faced was to change the habit for separation of waste in the staff room as well as in the yard. Even though clear labels were made on different bins it remains a BIG CHALLENGE. During the year the Eco Agents were very active on the ground, they painted the flowering pots to beautify the school entrance.
As part of the program, we try to talk to other department in order to sensitize their students in their own field. The works of some department are as follows:
- The home-economics dept – after each cooking class the girls went to throw their organic waste in the compost bin
- The Fashion & Art dept did the upcycling with their students
- For the sports day the costumes of the mascots were made using old newspapers and plastic bags
- The Science dept included the programme in the curriculum. Some of the work done is: Explaining the chapter of MATTER outside the classroom. This provides more space and learning was made through experience rather than through books.
- The P.E dept use the empty yogurt containers to make ice.
- The Accounting dept included a question related to ecological literacy during the second term examination
- Recycling and Re-use of papers—all question papers are recycled at the end of year. The administrative staff used papers from old diaries or old photocopy papers to make new copies when necessary. If not most communication goes through mail. We have also introduced the student diary to reduce the use of paper.
- The Form 2 and Form 3 students came up with the ECO Games, which are now played in the activity classes. Through games the concept was better understood.
- Science competition at MGSS Nouvelle France chose the idea of upcyling and presented dresses made up of old newspaper and plastic bag. They did not win the competition but since the idea was an original and innovative one, they were awarded a price by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.Arvind Boollel.
For the year 2014, our objectives are:
- Introduction of ECO POINTS for separation of wastes.
- Setting up of nursery garden by the Prevoc Year 3 students
- Medicinal garden
- Kitchen garden for the Food & Nutrition classes
- A plant for each class
- Eco thoughts
- Campaigns and competition—reduce the use of pet bottles
- Compost competition
- Celebration of important international days – World Water Day, World Earth day, World Environment Day, World Food Day
- Initiation of Education for Sustainability to LCC Junior School.
Our aim is to inculcate these values to our small neighbors. We started with the donation of plants and the ecopoint to show how to separate trash. We have planned a 15 minutes video on sustainability. Global impact is built on local and everyone’s actions. Sustainable Living is a great way to maintain a healthy global ecology. By making small changes in our lifestyle, we too can have a GLOBAL IMPACT.
For more information you may also see our powerpoint presentation here:
We thank the rector Mr Lee, the deputy rector Mrs. Leve Hang, Mr Dinesh, the staff, administrative, non-teaching staff and all members of the club for all their ideas, help and support.
Written by Mrs HOSENBOCUS ZAAHIRAH, from Loreto College Curepipe (Mauritius), March 2014.