As a teacher, I know that learning has taken place when children start using what they learnt in different situations. As a mother, I feel thankful towards educators when my six-year-old son does it. An incident yesterday made me think back to this very fact.
We were out and although I had my children’s water bottles with me I forgot to take mine. I stopped to buy something to drink and my six-year-old was getting cross at me because I was going to buy something in plastic which we will then throw away (not the best mummy moment!) That truly stopped me in my tracks and at the same time, I was proud of the holistic education he was getting.
At the school my son attends, the Bishop’s Conservatory Junior School in Victoria, the educators are truly trying to instil in our kids the love towards the environment and most especially to reduce single-use plastic. My son can refill his water bottle when empty from the special tap in the kitchen (reverse osmosis system) so no need to carry large plastic bottles to keep in class for refills, and he also started refusing straws when in restaurants.
This is not done by simply telling the children not to use single-use plastic but by seeing people around them doing so. At school even during fundraising events such as selling of figolli the school made the extra expense to buy cardboard boxes rather than putting them in plastic bags which would have been cheaper.
During a fun day activity (Ejjew Oqoghdu), which was also open for the public and attended by hundreds of children and their families, no single-use plastic was used and there were lots of goodies served:
Tea and coffee in glass cups and reusable glasses to fill water were used instead of selling plastic bottles. Children were also encouraged to bring their own water bottles for refills. By the school taking these measures and making the extra effort, it showed both parents and children alike that if it can be done in a big event then it can truly be done every day with a bit more effort from everyone!
I believe as a parent and as an adult, we have a responsibility towards our children to teach them the horrible effects of single-use plastic and I am lucky that this school is showing its students that it truly can be done!