Hi Yashjeet, can you tell us a little bit about this project?
Sure, I’d be happy to! The Paper Recycling project was made so we could recycle all our scrap paper (which we have a lot of!) We take the scrap paper and manually break it up, before using a mold and deckle to make the new paper, adding the necessary chemicals along the way. And voila – recycled paper!
That sounds fantastic. What were your aims when you set up this project?
The main objective was to introduce students to the benefits of recycling, and how important it is for us to reduce our carbon footprints. It was also meant to give them a real-life example of how to market a business, with costs and profit margins, meaning the students had to be creative and innovative.
From a practical point of view, the aim was also to cut down on the money the school spends on buying paper, and to make our school more environmentally friendly. We are now starting to use the first recycled envelopes at our Parent Teacher Conferences, and during events. The envelopes you receive your report cards is is made from scrap paper.
How does it align with the school vision and mission?
The project nurtures every student and teacher to be involved in part of something that makes a real difference to our school and community – environmental consciousness is a crucial part of being a 21st century learner.
Are there any ongoing activities related to this project?
We now use home made recycled paper in our events – for example in Chinese New Year, and we are trying to do this for all our events this academic year. For our Business Day events, we had a series of events and projects related to this year’s theme – Innovation through Recycling’ – and one of our case studies was our paper recycling project. We continue to hone and improve the project, and hope to involve our sister campuses in the next academic year.
It sounds like a very difficult project to run! What problems have you faced so far?
It is difficult to create awareness about the importance of recycling, and it was challenging finding the right materials for our mold and deckle. It also required lots of trial and error to get the right consistency of the recycled paper.
How did it enrich our students?
All of the students involved were fully engaged with this project, because of the hands on nature of the task. They learnt how to be innovative when finding solutions to problems, and independent, as they did all of the work themselves.