ICSE’s Volunteer Open Schooling Project
Plastic is all around us: In appliances, clothing, toys and cosmetics; we use it in agriculture and industry. But we also know what a growing risk plastic waste is in our environment and in the world`s oceans. What can individuals do to reduce plastic waste? This question is addressed by a project group in Freiburg: Under the lead of Prof. Katja Maass, Director of ICSE, PH Freiburg, five students from different schools, their families and interested citizens set themselves the goal of taking a closer look at packaging waste in the bathroom.
The first online meeting is an inventory in our bathrooms and the market: What plastic waste do we produce in the bathroom? What alternatives are there? Followed by the question how we want to proceed in order to approach our goal. Subsequently, a group researches about the topic of recycling of plastics and alternatives such as glass and also how these topics can be taught in an age-appropriate way. Another group is testing alternative products that produce less waste, such as block soap and shampoo. Others try out making cosmetic products themselves and document the result. They all observe their buying behaviour and try to compile which factors are relevant for the buying decision.
In a next step, cost-benefit calculations are made for conventional and alternative products. At the end of the project, the results and experiences are compiled and the project participants jointly consider how the tips developed for reducing plastic waste in the bathroom can be further processed, shared with others and disseminated. Posters and a picture book for kindergarten children and their families were developed, which were hung up and distributed in the respective facilities. Social media was also used to disseminate the project results, which were also prepared in small video clips. In any case, in the course of the project, all participants became aware of the impact plastic waste has on the environment and how important it is to use resources consciously.
ICSE Freiburg staff
Primary and secondary school students and their families
Interested citizens (teachers, project developer in renewable energies)