Visits to schools to teach pupils about the circular economy

Ended project: August 2017 to July 2019

The Finnish Nature League’s circular economy visits to upper comprehensive schools had a positive impact on pupils’ attitudes towards the circular economy and encouraged pupils to make smart decisions in their day-to-day lives.

What was it about?

The project was part of the Circular economy teaching for all levels of education package implemented between 2017 and 2019. Sitra’s vision was that all graduates should understand what the circular economy means from the point of view of their work and day-to-day life, and what decisions and actions they can take to promote the circular economy. The aim was to increase expertise in the circular economy in Finland by extensively developing circular economy training, materials, concepts and co-operation from different points of view for all levels of education. More than 50 educational institutions, organisations and businesses took part in the package.

What was achieved?

In its project, the Finnish Nature League carried out circular economy-themed school visits to upper comprehensive schools as well as competitions that involved planning a circular economy village or city. In addition, the Nature League produced the Kiertotalousnetti site (mainly in Finnish) with educational materials for upper comprehensive school lessons.

An environmental group for young people, the Hope for Planet club (in Finnish), was realised together with Aalto University Junior, with the circular economy a key part of its operations. The educational materials of the Kiertotalousnetti site were presented at arts teachers’ summer days and an information package on the circular economy was prepared for the participants of the Save Pond Hockey tournament.

More than 11,000 upper comprehensive school pupils across Finland were reached during the project. According to a bachelor’s thesis (in Finnish) by Emilia Hämäläinen, the Finnish Nature League’s circular economy visit had a positive impact on pupils’ attitudes towards the circular economy and encourages pupils to make a difference and also to make personal circular economy-compliant decisions.

Who was involved?

Sitra funded the project, and the people responsible for the project at Sitra were Riitta Silvennoinen and Nani Pajunen. The project was run by the Finnish Nature League, co-operating extensively with diverse parties. Teachers were also involved in producing the materials and brainstorming.

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