10 years ago, RoRec Association (Romania) launched the Recycling Patrol – an environmental education program dedicated to pupils from kindergartens, schools, and high schools in Romania. For 8 years, RoRec coordinated the program with stunning results – 8,000,000 kg of WEEE collected, 125,000 children and teenagers and 4,500 teachers involved as volunteers, over 7 million people reached by awareness-raising campaigns and media coverage. In 2019, the Recycling Patrol was taken over by Volens Association and RoRec Association remained a trusted partner, supporting the development of the program.
In 2021 The Recycling Patrol celebrated its 10th anniversary with one of its most ambitious projects, so far – The Green Manners Guide. The brand new free e-book tackles 10 hot topics on climate change and offers tips and tricks for a more sustainable lifestyle. However, the Guide is more than just another “how-to” book, as the recommendations it presents are real actions practiced by dozens of teams of teachers and kids, all over the country.
After spending the last 10 years encouraging thousands of schools in Romania to adopt better habits towards the environment, mainly concerning the responsible collection of e-waste, the project team realized that a new good-manners code was emerging and decided to give it a friendly, concise form.
The project is not only the legacy of the first 10 years of the program, but it also marks the beginning of the new ambitious phase of the Recycling Patrol. The „next level” is raising the „green manners” concept to the same level as the traditional „good manners” code, and making the Guide an educational tool for teachers, families, and organizations involved in fighting climate change.
Making of: Ideas gathered from children and teachers all over the country
Throughout the year 2021, the project team challenged teachers and pupils to come up with solutions in 10 important environmental areas, summed up as physical waste reduction (from plastic to e-waste) through freecycling, upcycling and recycling, food waste, water and energy waste, pollution and deforestation, the loss of biodiversity. The record-breaking achievements, in the collection of e-waste, were described in a dedicated chapter, which also tells the story of the first 8 years of the Recycling Patrol.
Hundreds of practical ideas poured from enthusiastic young volunteers who couldn’t wait to share their good deeds with the world. Some had boosted the separate collection for all types of recyclable waste, in their entire village, others had gone as far as creating recipes from leftovers, to avoid food waste. Kindergarten children had taken part in planting trees and river cleaning actions and were so proud to have their achievements included in this national collection of good practices in climate education. Andreea Idriceanu Calev, Project Architect of the Recycling Patrol
This June, an editorial team of 10 volunteers started to organize relevant and exciting information, data, statistics, context, and to put together the stories from the kids, on all the 10 topics, giving the project the best part of their summer.
The Green Manners Guide was ready to launch by the end of September and had its „premiere” at the conference of The Romanian National Commission for UNESCO „Education without borders for sustainable development”.
A free ebook for teachers, children, teenagers, families, and organizations involved in fighting climate change
The Green Manners Guide was declared „a revelation” by the first teachers who downloaded it.
”It is so visually appealing, quite a work of art. I was so touched to see they used mostly pictures and drawings from the children.”
”It is captivating reading. The information is interesting and accessible, illustrated with practical examples, you simply can’t put it down.”
”I burst into tears when I found stories of my team in this Guide. I think it is a motivating and inspiring acknowledgment of all our efforts so far. It can be used by teachers, but also parents and children. It can be used as classroom material as well as a bedtime story.”
The ebook can be downloaded for free (in Romanian only) from www.patruladereciclare.ro and marks the beginning of the next phase of the program.
We are starting a national conversation about the values and principles on which we base our day-to-day life. The profound change of mind frame we need will take place when our definition of „proper behavior” will include not only our relationship with other people but also our relationship with the entire ecosystem. Ada Lungu, PR Coordinator of the Recycling Patrol
The Green Manners Guide by the Recycling Patrol stands for an innovative tool to widen the reach of climate education beyond the frontiers of the school into the mainframe of society. All those interested in supporting or replicating the initiative are welcome to contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org