GREEN PRODUCTS THEME AS LEARNING SUBJECT
1 “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau (ROMANIA)
2 S.C. European Focus Consulting SRL (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The theme of the green products represents a subject discussed everyday and from everyone. Currently, any poll shows that a large majority of those who are asked say that they buy green products and that is important to purchase green products. If the questionnaire contains questions as: What are green products? How to identify green products?, it appears that only a small proportion of the respondents really know and can identify green products. This observation led to the launch of a project funded by the European Commission through LIFE + program, with the title: GreenPro - promoting green products.
The main objective of the project was just "to conduct an awareness raising campaign, in order to promote the production and consumption of green products". For this, first time a definition of green products (other than food) was formulated, definition that has been promoted in all project activities. The next step was to create a system for the identification and ranking of green products based on the product label. Labels containing information about the environment has been divided into six categories, ranging from those that provide information on compliance with a strict set of requirements, such as European environmental label, until those containing information exclusively on recycling packaging. In addition, a class of greenwashing labels was identified, trying to convince the buyer that the products are environmentally friendly, but without any argument, apart from the statement of the manufacturer.
Education and awareness activities on green products were conducted for a period of three years (2010-2013) on three levels: primary and secondary schools, higher education, adult education.
Different tools and working methods were used, coupled with the characteristics of each target group. But learning theme was the same: What are green products, how they can be identified, you should purchase.
For the target group consisting in 10-15 years old students two schools from Bacau were included in project. The theme was introduced in educational activities like School Otherwise, where a lesson on the topic of green products was presented first to the students. After that, interschool competition activities were organized, the students responded to questionnaires, created posters, drawings, and even poetries. The activity was a great success, the students and teachers performing also other activities on the subject than those proposed by the project coordinators.
At university level, the theme was introduced in a course to students from the study program Engineering of Environmental Protection in Industry, in addition to topics related to the identification of green products, the eco-labeling scheme, with the benefits they can bring to producers being discussed. A proof of the impact of the theme is given that the subject was further developed in the graduating works by students from license and master.
Adult education has been approached in a non-formal way, using leaflets, brochures, TV debates, TV videos clips, newsletters, internet promotion, etc. In parallel, to assess the impact of the undertaken actions, annual public opinion surveys were conducted. The analysis showed positive dynamics in terms of awareness and recognition of green products by the consumers.
Keywords: Green products, mass education, environment protection