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Don’t throw it away, make something!

All fairandfunky workshops encourage participants to think about the world around them. We deliver a range of workshops in schools to develop knowledge and understanding on climate change, sustainability, Fairtrade, and the environment, using innovative activities to raise awareness, encourage learning and inspire motivation. Our SCRAPtastic Recycling workshops for schools are one of our favourites and this month, thanks to our partnership with Stafflex, we have been at Moldgreen Community School to turn their Year 4 class into recycling superheroes!

Little steps, change the world. And it is this message that we reiterate throughout SCRAPtastic recycling. Knowing where our rubbish goes, and the difference that makes to our environment, may appear to be a small thing, but it makes a big difference. Children know about recycling; all classrooms now have a recycling bin for paper. A good job too as the average family throws away 6 trees worth of paper every year! We don’t want to be average, we want to rethink our waste, reduce our impact, repurpose our materials, reuse whenever we can and recycle when we can’t.

It’s important for children to understand why recycling is important, but also why recycling is the last ‘R’ on the list. Every time we use something new, we are using raw materials that are manufactured, packaged, and transported around the world. Each of these stages of production has an impact on our planet, as does the use and disposal of the product. Understanding where products are from and how they are made and what happens to them when they go in the bin improves knowledge and raised awareness of global issues. Children start to think, and ask questions, and understand the range of positive choices they could make.

“Today’s workshop was creative, engaging and thought provoking. It taught children to not only recycle but to reuse their waste and repurpose it. It will make us rethink what we do! Thank you so much, we all really enjoyed it.”

Year 4 Class teacher, Moldgreen Community Primary School.

In SCRAPtastic Recycling workshops we explore household waste – where it comes from and what happens to it. Should it simply be thrown away? Can it be recycled? Or could it be repurposed, reused, reimagined into something new? The rallying cry of SCRAPtastic is “Don’t throw it away, make something!” So, after discussing the merits of closed loop recycling, problems with landfill and how we could reduce our impact, it was time to get crafty.

Each child created their own recycling superhero mask from waste cardboard and magazines that were headed to recycling. As they poured over the images in the magazines, they talked together about the importance of protecting the environment: “We need to keep the oceans free of rubbish to protect the creatures!” By actively engaging in positive environmental activities children start to be aware of their own power to change the world. They have raised aspirations to improve their surrounding environment and know the difference their actions can have. “I’m going to think about the stuff I put in my bin and recycle more. It’s important, isn’t it?” Yes. It is. Well done to Year 4 for taking your own little steps to change the world in a fairandfunky workshop. And thank you to Stafflex for your commitment to sustainability and community.

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