Authors: Carolina Yume Sawamura Theophilo and Rafaela Andrade Institution: Federal University of São Paulo (Universidade Federal de São Paulo) Country: Brazil
Environment, Waste Generation and Conscious Consumption Environment, Waste Generation and Conscious Consumption project was developed in Diadema City, São Paulo, Brazil. The city has nowadays 400,000 inhabitants in approximately 30.65 km2, consequently Diadema has one of the largest population density of Brazil. This population concentration causes an increase of the waste generation in the city as well as a decrease of depositions areas with incurring managing costs. This project has begun in 2008 with support of the City Hall when UNIFESP students have mapped the waste generated in several areas of the city. The data obtained were used to develop educational material. This material was used to provide environmental education classes in municipal schools. The aim of these classes was to sensitize the children because they represent future generations and they have a greater ease in passing on to parents and family what they have learned, and this is very good to the progress of the project. The main goal is to promote environmental awareness especially in relation to waste generation, the recycling importance and conscious consumption, focusing on students between 5 and 10 years old. The project also aims to make students pass on the knowledge acquired to parents, family and neighbors, so that the conscious consumption can grow in the community where these children live. Several approaches were made in these classes to natural resources and their relationship with man, concepts about the 3 R’s (Reuse, Recycle and Reduce) and mainly the waste generation and their disposal. The last one was essential to relate the results obtained in the waste generated mapping of the city and the classes, because it had provided the necessary material to show the children what could have been changed with their little contribution. During the classes, it was asked to the children to draw something related to what they had learned. These drawings were used in the final results and the project team has concluded that most students had understood the importance of recycling and throwing trash in the garbage, always trying to reduce the consumption as much as possible.
After the classes, the students were able to differentiate reusing from recycling through activities performed by themselves, like paper recycling and the applying of this new material in some usual scholar items. They had built little safes and penholders and they got particularly interested in academic and how to learn more about environment, what was really a positive result. Finally, we want to highlight the importance of this project to the community of Diadema city. Our campus is still very new and there had been no time to develop an applied sustainability project yet, so we decided to present here an extension plan to the community around us. It gets the basic training of the people to reach a long-term goal, acquiring a more conscious consumption while the waste generation and their disposal problem arenâ€™t solved. Besides, after the waste evaluation by the team, we concluded that there are too many materials in this trash that could be reused or recycled. In this sense, these inappropriate habits could also be changed with this additional knowledge in order to these children may pass on to their parents and their community.