Eco-Schools is a democratic and participatory programme that provides an excellent opportunity for pupils to experience active citizenship in their school. It benefits both the schools and the wider community, such as:
An Improved School Environment
Students and staff can work together on such issues as reducing litter and waste and run the school in an environmentally conscious way.
Involvement of the Local Community
Local authorities, organizations and businesses have expertise in many areas of environmental management and may be willing to cooperate in the Eco-Schools initiative. The result being a more integrated community.
Increased Environmental Awareness
Students (as well as teachers and other school staff!) are encouraged to use their new environmental knowledge in the everyday life of the school. This helps pupils to see the relevance of what they learn in the classroom.
Through the democratic process involved in Eco-Schools, pupils can take control of their own environment, learning and making decisions about how to improve both their home and their school environment.
Actions undertaken throughout the programme may lead to savings in the school’s energy bills and water consumption, for example. Reducing waste and collecting materials for recycling, for example, can help raise money for the school.
Schools can create links with other Eco-Schools in their own country and in any other country involved in the programme. These links not only give a chance to share environmental information between schools but can also be used as a means for cultural exchange and improving language skills.
The programme is a learning resource and topic areas include: Litter, Waste Minimisation, Transport, Healthy Living, Energy, Water, School Grounds and Global Citizenship.
Pupils take key roles in decision making and participation in order to reduce the environmental impact of their school. In this way, Eco-Schools extends learning beyond the classroom and develops responsible citizenship attitudes both at home and in the wider community.
The Eco-Schools International Green Flag, awarded to schools with high achievement in their programme, is a recognised and respected eco-label for performance in Education for Sustainable Development. The Eco-Schools programme is a long-term activity, with the award being re-assessed and renewed every two years.
NGO "Keep Saint-Petersburg Tidy" is carrying out the programme Eco-Schools in the North-West of Russia.