My inquiry question is: How can education help reduce plastic consumption?
Over the past decades, plastics have become a world-known material that could be made into varieties of things. However, the revolutionary discovery of plastics has led to many damaging causes to our planet. In blog #3, I talked about when and why plastics were invented, the most important types of plastics, and why plastics were made. My goal was to give readers a better understanding of how harmful plastics can be and how they work. In today’s blog, my primacy is to answer the big question; “How can education help reduce plastic consumption?”, alongside 2 other questions leading up to my topic:
- Would schools make a difference in reducing plastic pollution if they educated students about plastics? How should schools educate students about plastics?
Would schools make a difference in reducing plastic pollution if they educated students about plastics?
The simple answer is yes, and there’s a study to prove the claim! In 2018, researchers conducted an experiment where they had students and educators participate in designing a project to raise awareness towards marine littering. After completion of the project, each participant was asked to complete an assessment of how the project changed their insights about marine litter. The results were no surprise; everyone who participated says their attitude toward marine litter had dramatically changed.
In what ways can schools help reduce plastics consumption?
It is important for schools to introduce awareness of plastic consumption to students at a young age. However, most schools around the world do not educate students about plastics nor do they promote eradicating plastic pollution. The best ways/strategies schools can use to help with plastic consumption are:
How can education help reduce plastic consumption?
Students can learn all the reading and writing theories they can handle, but unless a teacher shows them the theories in action, they’re missing a key component in the learning process! The same can be said of teaching students to care for the planet.
Educating students about plastic consumption is an important to step schools need to take to save our dying planet. As we’ve already discussed the strategies schools can use to educate students about plastic consumption, let’s talk about how education would help reduce plastics.
[Below, I will be explaining how every strategy (listed in question 2) could help schools reduce plastics]
- Hold an educational film screening
By showing educational films, students can be educated about the kinds of actions that can help reduce the number of discarded plastics
- Organize school, park, river, and beach cleans
Schools should inspire passion. Organizing fun events to help clean the environment is a helpful way school can help our planet! Not only is organizing daily clean-ups helpful for our planet, but students can also have lots of fun with peers while doing the deed!
- Stop selling plastic bottles, encourage reusables instead
Using refillable water bottles is an ideal way to cut down on plastic waste! If schools were to encourage students to bring a reusable water bottle and cut down on vending machines with plastic bottles, it could certainly help reduce plastic consumption.
- Encourage less plastic in packed lunches
Did you know that the average school-age child generates approximately 67 pounds (30 kg) of waste from lunch packaging each year? That’s an enormous amount of garbage, especially when you multiply it by the number of kids who go to school.
By encouraging students to pack less plastic in their lunches, we could save over 160799 tons of plastics (in just elementary schools alone) each year!
- Choose reusables for school canteens
School canteens are known for their non-reusable plastic trays, plastic bowls, and plastic yogurt cups. By swapping “compostable plastic” items for reusable alternatives, such as ceramic mugs, stainless steel cutlery, and glass cups; schools would save up to 45kg per year!