Newsletter sustainability project Louny-Barendrecht

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First newsletter of the sustainability project between Barendrecht (the Netherlands) and Louny (Czech Republic)

The general objectives of the sustainability project

During the week from 8th to 13th March 2015, Czech students socialised with Dutch students in Louny. We attended a program about sustainability funded by the European Union, but after school we also had fun. It’s an exchange project, so the Dutch pupils slept in host families. We also practiced our English skills with each other and we learned about each other’s culture. In June, the Czech students will come to the Netherlands to learn about the Dutch culture.

In the mornings of this week, we went to school and we talked about sustainability. We compared the Dutch and the Czech results of the enquiry, which we made for each other, to find out, how we deal with sustainability. We talked about the results and we published it on our site, www.wikigreen.eu. The website contains similarities, differences and the progress we made during the project. With the outcome of the enquiry we try to give each other’s countries recommendations about improving the environment. The website is in Dutch, Czech and English. We visited a local waste processing company on Tuesday, where we learned how the waste was collected, recycled and processed. The goal of the project is to develop self-awareness of environmental issues. With all the information we collected, we will develop lesson material for the future pupils. We are teaching our generation and future generation what to do to for having a better planet. The main subjects we are researching are waste, energy, water and transport. We hope to improve the environment. We wish to have a green planet for the younger generation, because we want to keep the nature the way it is now.

The Czech students are looking forward to visit the Netherlands to learn something about the Dutch culture.

Particular objectives of the first meeting

Before we met each other, both schools made a survey. We put the surveys together (each school 10 questions) and had the questions answered by at least 100 pupils of both schools. When we met the first day, both groups had their results taken with them. The Czech students had the results of the Czech people they had interviewed, and the Dutch students had the results from the Dutch people. We wanted to compare those results, so we had to put the results into percentages. After converting all the results, we put the numbers next to each other in a word document. We wrote this all in English, Dutch and Czech. By doing that this way, we could easily see how many per cents of Dutch and Czech people had given a specific answer to a question. We put the results of the surveys on the wikigreen. The next day, we wanted to compare the results and talk about the differences and similarities. We wanted to think of the reasons why the results were different. First we did this in groups of six, and later on the day we talked about it with the whole class. That is how we found out that Dutch and Czech people have a different lifestyle. We put this into practice by visiting a local waste processing company. We saw how waste is separated in the Czech Republic.

The next day, Wednesday, we wrote down the general reasons that our lifestyles are different, which will also be put on wikigreen. Now (Wednesday), it is almost lunchtime. After lunch we will visit a horse farm to compare city life to the life in the countryside. Later on, we will also meet the mayor of Louny and some of the members of Club 2020 (the club of the intertwined cities). A general overview of activities and things we learned During our trip to Louny, we have done a lot of things. Some things were to get to know each other and other things were related to the project.

The Czech and Dutch students have prepared a lot of things at their own school before the visit, like asking people to fill in a survey and making a report about sustainability.

During this project, the Dutch students slept at the houses of the Czech students. In this way we could see how the families live and what they do with sustainability. We saw how the Czech students go to school and what kind of products they use during the day. In the Czech Republic, we went to a waste point to see how the Czech people are separating their trash. This was related to the program, in this way we could give each other recommendations. It was very interesting and we learned a lot from it. We also went to a farm to see the differences between the city life and living in the country.

During the trip we have met the mayor of Louny and members of Club 2020 to talk about our project and the bond between Louny and Barendrecht. It is nice to know this, because we did not know these two towns have a bond with each other.

We also did a lot of fun things to get to know each other. We speed dated at the first day, we had one minute to tell something about ourselves. We went to the bowling centre and we enjoyed it. Some of the students climbed a hill in their free time. On Tuesday, we climbed the church tower of Louny to see the town from above, it was an impressive view. On Wednesday evening we had dinner with the whole group and after that we went to the cinema. We visited Prague and played mini-golf on Thursday and unfortunately the Dutch students had to go home at Friday.