The programme was planned by the Finnish partner in the project, SYKLI Environmental School of Finland, and consisted of an introduction to the Finnish waste management system and several visits to environmental educational institutions. The participating teachers met with the Helsinki region environmental services and visited the waste processing station in Ämmänsuo, Espoo.

Different ways of teaching about ecology to children were demonstrated by Helsinki recycling centre, ecological school “Töyhtöhyyppä” (Lapwing), School of the University of Helsinki and environmental kindergarten “Children of the taiga”.

All schools are working with children of preschool-age and school-age and with an emphasis on environmental issues. Most schools teach about nature in practical ways: children watch the animals, learn about plants in nature and in greenhouses. At school “Töyhtöhyyppä” there was a display of plants from Asia and tropical jungles. All children, starting from kindergarten, are taught how to correctly sort garbage and understand how waste can affect the environment in a negative way.

The W.A.S.T.E project will continue until the end of spring 2012 and the participants will continue to improve their skills through training courses in sustainable development and will develop a manual for teachers as a result of the project.

The next event of the project will be the visit to the islands of Turku Archipelago (Finland) organized for employees of the museum of wooden architecture Kizhi. The staff of the museum, which is annually visited by thousands of tourists, will get acquainted with Finnish experience on waste management on islands. The visit will take place on 28-31 May.

Text: V. Meshko, project coordinator