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We can help the nature. Getting to know the 3R rule

Most of us don’t think about rubbish, which surrounds us everywhere. We don’t realize that we can easily diminish its amount and how much important is to segregate it properly. During the meeting the participants will get to know not only how to reduce the amount of waste produced, but also how to recycle it or reuse it.


Author and translation: Anna Książek

Proofreading: Andrea Pucci


Main objectives:

  • Pointing out environment as one of the main areas of changing the world

During the workshop the participants will:

  • Get to know the rules: reduce, reuse, recycle and try to apply them in practice.


1. Starting the meeting with the chant:

We change the world together To make everything better For people and for nature This is our adventure

2. Story

Remind participants the homework – let the participants who want to share their experience in helping others speak about it. Summarize by appreciating their effort and telling that they are ready to discover next area of changemaking – nature. Show the participants rubbish spread around the room. Ask what it is. Think together, what rubbish actually is (something we don’t need anymore). What do you think about the amount of rubbish we create? Is it small, big or maybe too big? Is it necessary? How can you tell? Get to know where a big amount of our rubbish ends up – read to the participants the letter from our travelers in which they describe Mantanani island. Dear children! Today we write to you from a mesmerizing island called Mantanani. It is located in Malaysia, off the shores of Borneo. It’s a small island full of palms. You can collect coconuts directly from the plant and drink fresh coconut milk. Around there is a beautiful, blue ocean. From every place in the island you have a bunch of steps to the beach. We like it the most at sunrise and sunset time – it’s so beautiful! A real paradise! But the island has also its dark side… There is really a hell of rubbish. In some places you can’t even take a bath in the ocean, because junk is all around. The same happens to the beach, golden sand is mixed with plastic bags, used batteries, packages… The rubbish is cast away by the inhabitants of the only village located on Mantanani and by tourists who visit it. Rubbish comes also from the mainland, sometimes covering many, many kilometers before reaching the island. It makes some places in the island looking ugly, but it also pollutes the water, causing the death of many animals – fish, dolphins and sharks – and the coral reef, which here is already nearly gone. Also the few land animals, for example cows, are in danger, because they eat plastic bags and other things and are not able to digest them, so it stays in their stomach. We don’t really know what can be done with this rubbish… Maybe you will have an idea? Anna and Andrea The full story “Mantanani. Paradise and hell” can be found here. Make sure participants understood the problem described in the story. Show Malaysia on the map. Show participants photos of the island full of rubbish. Ask participants: what can be done with the rubbish? Is there any other solution than dumping it into a hole? Look for answers together.

Rubbish scattered on the beach of the Malaysian island of Mantanani. The beautiful island definitely loses its charm.

3. Exercise Exercise 1. 3R. The task for the participants is to find letters in three different colors, hidden in the room, and then put them in the right order to get the three words starting with R (in English). To make it easier, number the letters in every word. The three words participants will discover are: reduce – limit, use less; reuse – use again; recycle – segregate. After explaining the meaning, put them in visible place in the room. Exercise 2. Recycle. Have a look at one of the rules: recycle. Come back to the rubbish you found in the room at the beginning of the meeting. Decide together which is the right color of the rubbish bag you should put them into. Divide them together. To do so, in four different corners of the room (or court) place bags colored according to the color coding of waste segregation. Take the rubbish one by one (or say its name). The task for the participants is to touch the bag of the right color as fast as possible. Exercise 3. Reduce. We know already how to segregate rubbish. But is there anything we can do before? Can we do something to reduce the amount of rubbish? How? Propose a contest to the participants: every small team of 4-6 people writes down as many ideas as possible for reducing the amount of rubbish (for example buying products without packages; using containers for breakfast and thermos instead of plastic bags and bottles; using fabric bags). Wins the team which collect the biggest number of good ideas. Summarizing, think which idea you could introduce individually in your life and what you can do together, as a team. Exercise 4. Reuse. Each small team receives one piece of junk brought by the leader (for example a plastic bottle, a tea box, a cork, an old T-shirt). The task of the team is to write down as many ideas as possible of reusing that particular item. Then teams present their ideas both by describing and showing the use.

4. Artwork “3R town” Propose to the participants one more use for the rubbish. Make together the model of a town in which all inhabitants respect the 3R rule. Build houses, draw roads, put bins for rubbish segregation, create inhabitants and other elements which come to your mind. It should be a responsible, ecological, and happy town. Use your creativity – an important changemaker skill. After finishing the work, ask the participants to think what kind of rules should function in the 3R town. Can all inhabitants be happy? How? Which of these rules you can actually use in your participant team? Make the photo of the 3R town, maybe you will use it to promote the 3R rule among your friends and family.

5. Summarize Ask the participants if they think the 3R town exists somewhere in the world. Maybe some participants were on a trip abroad and he/she remembers if the streets were clean or dirty. Were there rubbish bins for segregation? And how it looks like on other continents? Ask what participants know about it. Do other people in the world have problems with too much rubbish, or it’s only us? If it’s a common problem, what will happen if we don’t find a solution? Let the participants think what they can do so that at least their surroundings resemble the happy 3R town. Explain participants, that next meeting will be really special. You will change the world yourself! Ask participants what kind of problems they see in their surroundings. Which of them they want to solve? What do they need to do so? The answers to those questions will help you to prepare for the next meeting.

6. Homework Every participant tries to put into practice the rules discussed during today meeting (for example he/she won’t use plastic bags for breakfast at school, will try to segregate rubbish at home, won’t buy drinks in plastic bottles). He/she should observe for few weeks what is easy to do and what is challenging. Remember to remind participants during every meeting about this task and check after few weeks how did it go.

7. Finishing the meeting with the chant

We change the world together To make everything better For people and for nature This is our adventure


Additional tasks for the group:

  • Prepare posters promoting the 3R rule, put them in visible places in the school, neighborhood, nearby shop.

  • Prepare gifts for friends and family using things which are not needed anymore.


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