What we (can) do!
(Smart team – 20th of September 2022)
A more developed environmental awareness, encompassing both knowledge and behaviour, is more needed than ever, especially in Eastern Europe. There are many ways in which we can raise awareness of the importance of ecology among young people, and here you can read how SMART high school students from Serbia are engaged in preserving the environment. Maybe we can inspire you further!
We know how harmful plastic is to the environment, how long it takes to decompose and where plastic particles can be found. That’s why SMART high school provides its students with ecological water bottles that they receive when they enrol in school. Our students’ bottles can be used as indicators for bacteriological testing of water, since if the water in them is not clean, they release a strong smell within a few minutes. In this way, the awareness of the importance of nature conservation is raised already during the first meeting.
Despite all the harmful substances it contains, plastic can still make someone smile! Our school joined the humanitarian action of the association “Cepom do osmeha”(Smile cap) which was founded in 2012 with the aim of empowering and providing support to persons with disabilities and their families. By separating and collecting plastic caps, we improve the solid waste separation system in Serbia. Funds collected from recycling are donated to humanitarian causes, with a particular focus on children with special needs.
Plant life, be a hero!
Participation in the humanitarian action “Plant life, be a hero!” reminded us how important solidarity, empathy and mutual support are to us all. On the occasion of the World Day of Children with Cancer, our students joined the action of the National Association of Parents of Children with Cancer NURDOR and bought pencils “Plant life, be a hero!” which also contains mint, basil or lavender seeds. By buying this pen, our students helped their peers, who are fighting for recovery.
Within the “Green Incubator” contest, organized by the “Youth in Green Entrepreneurship” group, Andrej’s eco-entrepreneurial idea was recognized as the most creative and original, and won 1st place in this eco-competition. Andrej is a member of our school’s “Entrepreneurship for Young People” section, and submitted an idea for this eco-competition. Learn more about Andrej’s connection between recycling and discounts for paying bills, swimming pool tickets, cinema tickets, and humanitarian actions here: : http://www.smart.edu.rs/prva-nagrada-za-eko-ideju-andreja-durekovica-ucenika-odeljenja-ii3-odeljenja-na-eko-takmicenju-snazno-zelena-ideja
Paper collection and recycling
At the end of each school year, students and teachers collect paper that they no longer need and send it for recycling. Recycling as an important process in preserving the environment is something that we encourage young people to do, and with these incentives we try to introduce it into everyday life.
From the very beginning, our students receive guidelines for separating garbage – glass packaging is placed in a container intended for glass waste, organic matter in a container intended for organic waste, plastic waste in containers with plastic. Although this is unfortunately not the practice everywhere in Serbia, we strongly strive to create a healthy habit in students that will help preserve the environment, because big changes start with small steps.
Another example of how we encourage children to take care of their environment is the work of the ecological section of our high school. The section is led by a geography professor, and interested students and professors can join it. This type of teaching encourages the development of awareness about the care and preservation of the environment through various activities such as organizing and participating in various actions, panel discussions on the topic of ecology or visiting art exhibitions on the topic of nature conservation.
There are many ways to engage young people in current environmental issues, but which one do you choose?