Rob Whitehouse, coordinator of two waste reduction projects (Let's Waste Less in Worcestershire and Waste Savvy Staffs in Staffordshire) has been supporting his volunteers in these areas to pursue a more digital approach to engagement to coincide with government guidelines.
Rob recently finished working on a 1 hour online school session about waste reduction to be delivered throughout the current academic year. Initially, the projects previously had been prepared as in-person talks. However, they have now been adapted for the post-covid world.
Rob Whitehouse states "The trickiest bit to change was the activity to break up the learning, as children can no longer work together, shout out answers or move around the classroom freely, but we got around this by creating a multiple choice quiz with each of the answers being represented by different gestures or actions. We've also always wanted to create a homework activity to take the learning back to every pupil's home and this new session allowed me to do just that. I set to work on an I-Spy style tick sheet, where children tick off their waste reduction activities". The homeworking activity recaps the key waste reduction methods from the 1 hour online session and includes subjects such as recycling items like cans or some junk mail, putting fruit and veg scraps into a compost bin, giving rags to a charity shop, reusing bottles and bags, checking best before dates and storing food better to stop it going off.
And finally, a snippet of this wonderful waste reduction session has been made into an accessible 10 minute video that schools can use for assemblies or introduce the project in the school. As Rob explains; "It wasn't until I spoke to some teachers before the summer that I realised most schools were now recording assemblies and playing them in classrooms to keep children in their 'bubbles'. This is a great addition to the school session as it means that at very least, every class can be shown the key principles around waste reduction. Most schools who have previously signed up to a workshop, are keen to roll this out as an additional tool to all the other classes, and some have offered to email out the activity sheet to parents too. It's a really exciting new direction for our projects and our volunteers".
If you think your school would be interested in a waste reduction workshop, and it's in Worcestershire or Staffordshire, you can arrange a free session by contacting Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org.