A long but anticipated road toward Zero Waste School

A long but anticipated road toward Zero Waste School

Did you know that approximately 90% of the 1.8 billion individuals in the globe who are between the ages of 10 and 24 live in developing nations? The largest group of young people ever may unite, foster communal resilience, spur social advancement, and affect political change. The plastic and climate problems are currently affecting this generation the greatest, and they will also be the ones who suffer the most as adults as a result of these effects. More than ever, it’s critical to provide teachers with the skills they need to guide kids toward a more just and sustainable future. By giving young individuals this information and understanding, institutions and educational institutions may demonstrate this situation. Teaching students in schools about plastic pollution can contribute to increasing awareness and influencing public opinion regarding the usage of plastic globally.

With the desire to connect interested individuals and organizations and spread the zero-waste school model to many other educational institutions in Vietnam, the Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance cooperated with the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), Pacific Environment (PE), Zero Waste School Network and more (Zhub and more); Humanitarian Environmental Society Company Limited (Refill) organized the 2nd Zero Waste School Festival on December 9, 2022.

Zero Waste School Festival is an event initiated by the Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance (VZWA) with the aim of connecting schools in Vietnam with the same interest in waste reduction, in particular, plastic waste, and toward creating a prototype for a zero-waste school. The first event was held in December 2021, and members responded favorably and provided feedback.

Over 70 delegations from various provinces and localities have shown interest in the second zero-waste school festival. The delegates learned about zero-waste school models, green school models, and zero-waste models applied by several organizations, including WWF, Live and Learn, Zhub and more, and VZWA, at the event’s official workshop. Representatives from more than 18 schools, including preschools, elementary schools, secondary schools, high schools, and universities, had the chance to discuss obstacles that they are still facing with specialists and share experiences with implementing the zero-waste school orientation.

Dr. Bui Quang Hung, vice president of the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City, opened the meeting “As we are directly involved in influencing and modifying the thinking, perception, and behaviors of the young generation – who will rule our future – I believe education in general and schools in particular play a critical role. The UEH Zero Waste Campus Project, which focuses on the objective of “greening from thinking to action of the UEHer community,” is thus one of UEH’s action plans. Not a movement, but a real investment of resources is made by the school. The UEH Zero Waste Project has been in operation for more than two years, and during that time it has enthusiastically and strategically implemented communication methods, such as the UEH Zero Waste Station and Platform UEH Zero Waste Game, connected and expanded the network of partners in the circular economy, green economy, garbage classification, and Zero Waste School, and implemented and integrated zero waste knowledge into training programs and research projects.”

Photo 2: Assoc.Prof. Bui Quang Hung _ UEH Vice Dean 

Building a garbage-free school is like firing an arrow to many different places, as Ms. Quach Thi Xuan, Coordinator of the Vietnam Zero Waste Coalition, put it. Stakeholders like teachers, parents, grandparents, or the local community will also be communicated when we have a flawless education to bring the future generation’s consciousness to live responsibly with the environment. inspiration and improved performance.

Photo 3: Ms. Quach Thi Xuan – VZWA coordinator

Through the sharing of representatives from high school, junior high school, Hanoi Experimental High School, Hoa Phu Da Nang Primary School, Team BFFP, Ms. Kieu Thi Kinh – Representative of Da Nang Center for Sustainability Promotion BUS, CAB organization, Zhub and More organization, and INSEE Ecocycle, the event also highlighted typical Zero Waste models in Vietnam and internationally. From there, the Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance also talked about and suggested a plan for constructing a zero waste school.

From the perspective of management agencies and local businesses, GreenHub organization shared about plastic reduction activities in Phu Yen province, a representative of Hoi Ecological Solution Company shared about the journey of efforts with the New ways to accompany Hoi An City in reducing waste, building Hoi An into a green tourist destination. Mr. Nguyen The Thong, representative of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shared: “Promoting the practice of reuse must go through three levels from the national level, the business level to the national level. professional and personal level. According to Anh Thong, at the individual level, we need to strongly propagate the benefits and harms of activities, especially personal education, right from school. In addition, we also need to expand connections, create cohesion between people and regulators, between businesses and individuals towards the goal of promoting effective reuse.”

Photo 4: MS. Doan Thi Hai Quynh – teacher from Hanoi school of science and technology

There are also the side events in which VZWA takes part. It is an exhibition called Sustainable Inspiration that is a part of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City’s Ready for Next series of activities. Ho Chi Minh City organized the event, and VZWA collaborated with Zhub&more and Refill to set up a booth with the subject of Zero Waste School. Activities included sharing and showcasing common zero-waste models as well as participating zero-waste schools. featured minigames at the booth that included questions about environmental issues and a zero-waste strategy. The audience has been paying close attention to the show.

The Zero Waste School Festival will develop into an annual forum, bringing together and assisting Vietnamese organizations, educational institutions, and businesses in creating a significant, practical, and long-lasting Zero Waste model.

Photo 5: Participants at event

Other photos:

  1. Exhibition booth: Zero Waste Campus

2/ Participants at exhibition

3. During the event