Pioneering a sustainable future

(OMTimes) We all need to come together with creative ideas to ensure a sustainable future for our children.

Pioneering a sustainable future – Uruguay builds the first 100% sustainable public school in Latin America.

Montevideo (Uruguay) – In a school in the Uruguayan capital, in the district of Jaureguiberry students produce their own organic food. It is the first sustainable school in Latin America: made with recycled materials, it works with renewable energy, and its students learn to live in harmony with nature and be active World Citizens.

Two thousand tires, five thousand glass bottles, two thousand square meters of cardboard and eight thousand aluminum cans. What can you do with it? Believe me: one of the answers would be “a school,” and that is already is a reality standing in Uruguay.

Who designed the 270 m² building was the architect Michael Reynolds, an American who in the 60s realized that architecture had abandoned the human being and founded a community to live more intelligently and harmoniously with nature. Michael E. “Mike” Reynolds is an American architect based in New Mexico, known for the design and construction of “Earthship”- passive solar houses. He is a proponent of “radically sustainable living.” He has been a critic of the profession of architecture in general for its adherence to conventional theory and practice, and he advocates the reuse of alternative building materials from waste streams, such as automobile tires, and is known for designs that test the limits of building codes. For 45 years he has created Earthship, specializing in low-cost, sustainable buildings.

The school in Jaureguiberry, Uruguay, has solar panels & power plates and windmills to generate energy, as well as vegetable gardens and orchards to produce organic food. The sustainable school can serve about 100 students per year, with a teaching model that puts them in direct contact with nature and the environment. The goal is to re-signify the school, making it a placeholder for the community, public and private sector, with learning about innovation and sustainability from construction to classes about “Green Management.”

We accounted that 60% of all material used in school were recycled. Since 2014, residents of the region were introduced to the project and had done their best to make it a reality to their community. 200 volunteers from Uruguay and other neighboring countries put their hands into this project during the seven weeks of construction attempting to learn the Reynolds method and later replicate it, in other community schools around the world.

Water scarcity and pollution are the fruits of human irresponsibility and have serious consequences. With this scenario, it is possible to teach children sustainability concepts from an early age so that they live well and transform this Earth in a better world. It would be great if they learned it at school, right? But, this is not a distant dream, not anymore.

The goal, says the teacher Rita Montans, is to create a kind of code of conduct to care for the environment, as well as an “environmental cross” or “green cross” that students could administer, as well as the “red cross” that still exists in some schools of the continent.

Teachers receive specialized training to teach at the sustainable school, both regarding adapting the syllabi of the subjects and in the more autonomous management of the building. There is no better learning than living, “says director and headmaster of the School, Ms. Alvarez.” Whether children can apply or not “what they have learned is important,” the seed is planted, “he concludes confidently.

The Eco-Escola Sustentável ( sustainable school) currently serves 45 children. But, the aim is to benefit up to 100 students, with a teaching methodology based on care for the environment, nature, rational use of natural resources and compassionate living. The school, which received the approval of education authorities, could be built thanks to private funding and the efforts of a local NGO, and opened its doors in March 2016 and have been operating successfully ever since.

Other sustainable schools worldwide. Green School Bali: Sustainable School of the Future, Now.

Source: OMTimes

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