“Opschoondag”: Clean-Up Day

Contribution by Ms Loes Bekkers
Saturday, March 20th was the national ‘Opschoondag’ in the Netherlands. This translates as clean-up day, and people go out and clean up in their neighbourhoods.
We used the PHE lesson in the week before this day to learn more about this.
The students started the lesson with a video and discussion on plastic soup. They learned about the scale of the ocean’s plastic environmental problem and the consequences of this pollution. They talked about ways to reduce their own plastic use. After that, we went into the neighbourhood and picked up what was littered, which we used as a Service as Action task.

Students had to write a reflection on this lesson. Here are some of their comments:
“I found it very fun and enjoyable because I knew I was doing my fair share for the environment. It makes me feel good knowing that I got to know that people saw us and were happy that people were looking out for them. I had a feeling that gave me hope for the future that if more people were like this we really wouldn’t have to worry about what will happen.”
“The most enjoyable part of the activity was the sense of progression within the area of which we cleaned in. Each time we crossed the street it felt as if we were making some sort of progression by making the environment better.”
“Service and action projects are important to the community and it is our responsibility to help out, picking up trash is a great way to help and support.”
“In this Service as Action, we learned about the importance of recycling and cleaning our plastic waste. We learned how it is polluting our earth and how it is hurting animals. After hearing this my class wanted to know how we can help. Some of our ideas were using reusable bags so that we use less plastic, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable water bottles and lunch boxes.”
“Now whenever I see a piece of paper lying on the street I pick it up and put it in a trash can. Also now I am more aware of what I do with my trash.”