Environmental Education in Miyamaki Elementary School (Japan)

written by: Yumika Yoshinaga


On November 26th 2012, e-cycle, a student group which is working on environmental activities at Doshisha University, held a lecture for 10 or 11-year-old students at Miyamaki elementary school in Kyotanabe, Kyoto (Japan).


First, they held a lecture on the garbage problem in the world, in Japan, in Kyotanabe and its solutions. The e-cycle members showed which country emits most garbage and students looked really interested in it. It seemed like they were really surprised to know that Japan emits the third most garbage in the world following America (#1) and Russia (#2). Also, they told students how many tons of garbage each person emits every day. Mt. Fuji, the largest mountain in Japan looked beautiful but it was filled with garbage like televisions and fridges. Even just burning the garbage we throw every day costs a lot of money.

After these lectures, e-cycle gave some quizzes, for example how many pet bottles we need to make a pair of gloves. The answer is actually one. At the end of the question, they introduced 4R not 3R and they told students that we need to not only “Reduce”, “Reuse”, “Recycle”, but we need to not “Refuse” to improve garbage problems. Students were often surprised during the lecture and it seemed like they learned a lot.


After the lecture and quizes, e-cycle held a “Separate Garbage Game”. There were 7 classification of garbage including pet bottles, cans, glass bottles, burnable trash, utilize garbage, paper bottle (ex. a carton of milk), and collecting garbage for management. Members divided students into 6 groups and competed to see which group could separate the garbage correctly. Students were really excited about thinking which one was correct. Almost all the students didn’t know that paper bags and magazines are collected and not burned to recycle.

The e-cycle members and Miyamaki elementary school students get together and hold these lectures and games every year around this time to teach students about environmental problems. They focused on garbage problem this year and last year. Their purpose is to bring awareness about the garbage problem that exists in is not only in their city or country, but also in the world. At the end, they told students that it is very important for each person to think about the problem and care for it and that taking individual actions can improve it. Students told them that they could enjoy learning about it and that they also can separate garbage now.

The e-cycle will keep doing these kinds of things to improve the local environment.

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