The education of the youngest is considered crucial in the municipality of Trento, as the children can learn and adapt very fast, and also have a great influence on their families. Educating actual and future citizens into a more sustainable behaviour is needed for a shift toward a circular economy.
The Environmental Department of Trento Municipality had celebrated the 10th year of providing education activities into the local elementary and middle schools. This just concluded school year, seizing the opportunity of participating at Greencycle project, the municipality decided to introduce and focus on a new topic: the circular economy. The young civil service girl hired this year, Angela Holzer, exceeded all the expectations being able to involve 31 classes of 7 different schools, for the incredible number of 660 children from 6 to 10 years old.
Angela did some interactive lessons tackling the topics of separate collection, recycling, water waste, food waste, short supply chain. Together with the lessons, she organised also some practical laboratories to help the children fixing the concepts and at the same time having great fun! The children experienced the potential of upcycling and imagination: old T-shirts became brand new and colorful shopper bags, while common wastes became musical instruments, and the class bins were decorated to make them nicer and at the same time to help improve the quality of separate collection. The children also played a team game on short supply chain and long supply chain to learn the different efforts and wastes of big production processes and logistics, a card game to learn good behaviour and bad behaviour to reduce water waste, and painted some posters that were hang in the class as remainder of the activities done.
The next school year 2018/2019 the chosen theme will be plastic flow, as an actual trend topic, and a second project will focus more on the Greencycle local pilot 'Nutrire Trento', dealing with local food production and short supply chain as a solution to reduce food waste and logistics. We will also try to involve the high school students in the decision process and mapping of local services and activities in Trento city that might help transitioning to a more circular economy and support a more 'circular behaviour'.