In Indonesia, every minute, astonishing six tons of plastic waste are making their way into the oceans, partly because environmental eduction in schools in non existent. Find out more about the unique Zero Waste School Program developed by Yayasan Green Boooks Indonesia that aims to raise waste management awareness on the archipelago.
Waste management awareness in Indonesia
A nation of 17,000 islands with 50% of its land area under forest cover and comprising a large component of the coral triangle, Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. However, every minute, six tons of plastic waste are making their way into the oceans, waste separation and composting of organic waste are unfamiliar activities, and plastic waste is being burned in populated areas without hesitation.
This imprudent plastic use and disposal has enormous impacts on the environment and on the health of local communities. Low awareness of these impacts can be attributed to the lack of environmental education in schools, which means 3,5 million teachers and 50 million school kids having little access to critical environmental education programs.
The Zero Waste School Program
Yayasan Green Books Indonesia offers a free and accessible Zero Waste School educational program to the children and educators in schools and communities all around Indonesia.
Content of the program
The key messages of the Zero Waste School educational program are to reduce waste, refuse single use plastic, switch to safer alternative packaging and products, and sort and manage waste responsibly. It is spread into 18 lessons that are separated into 3 stages:
- Stage 1) Promotes awareness about the danger of plastics including microplastics in our food and ecosystems, and demonstrates the impact of marine plastic pollution.
- Stage 2) Explores methods of waste separation and how organic waste is bio decomposed as opposed to inorganic waste.
- Stage 3) Explains how to sort inorganic waste and shows the health hazards associated with plastic use and incineration.
Methodology of the program
Zero Waste School educational program provides training guidelines for educators, with interactive and fun eco-education activities for children based on transformative learning principles, including:
- Documentary film watching, arts and crafts, puppet theatre, drama, environmental clean-ups, singing, dancing, movement games, experiments, storytelling, quizzes, crossword puzzles, pledges and calls-to-action.
- Link to detailed overview of Stage 1.
- Link to detailed overview of Stage 2.
- Link to detailed overview of Stage 3.
Feedback from the program
Educators provide data and feedback in the form of text, photos and videos after each activity. The feedback in turn is used to verify and upgrade the program and its impacts.
Motivational Rewards included in the program
On the completion of each stage, the Zero Waste School educational program provides motivational rewards in the form of green incentives to support a zero waste lifestyle. See examples below:
- Stage 1: Tasini reusable eco-bag for each student. It is made from two recycled PET bottles that can be folded into a marine animal-shaped keychain.
- Stage 2: Stainless steel zero waste lunch kit for the teacher (role model for the students). The kit contains a lunch carrier, a snack box, a water bottle and straws.
- Stage 3: Nazava XL water filters for each class/school.
Follow up activities for sustained impact
Follow up activities of the Zero Waste School educational program are focused on:
Encouraging students to:
- use their Tasini eco-bag instead of single use plastic bags,
- choose safe utensils and wrappings (such as stainless steel, ceramic, glass, and banana leaves) for food as far as possible,
- refill their water bottles in school and at home as an alternative to buying beverages in single use plastic, and
- raise awareness about the adverse effects of littering and incineration of plastic in their families and communities.
Encouraging and facilitating the educators/schools to:
- connect to the local waste recycling collection centres,
- set up and maintain school/communal composting systems, and
- extend the program to other students and educators in their schools and communities.
What the local educators say about the Zero Waste School Program
- “The impact of Green-Books has made my school greener. There’s a composter now and my students are aware about refusing single use plastic. They bring their lunches to school in lunch boxes or wrapped in banana leaves. There’s also one student who has successfully encouraged and convinced his parents to stop providing plastic bags in their shop.” (Gung Asri – SD Saraswati Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali)
- “After seeing the plastic island film, the children were enthusiastic, curious to know about microplastic and the impact of plastic waste, and to discuss how we can reduce the use of plastic. I am very happy, being able to join Green-Books.org, becoming a green teacher introducing such exciting activities.” (Ratih Nur Azizah – Komunitas Gerobak Pustaka Wilayut, East Java)
- “Overall, a lot of fun activities. The children now know the term microplastic and where the garbage that is littered ends up. (Windarti Aprina – Kolono, Central Sulawesi).
Our mission at Green-Books.org is to educate millions of Indonesian children about the environment and inspire them to live sustainably and in harmony with nature. Help us achieve our goals by sharing online and making donations here.