By Tatjana Užnik, Ledina Primary School Ljubljana in Slovenia
Isn’t it eye-soothing to be surrounded with all that plants, while tackling everyday school challenges?
And there is also a greater pleasure if you plant them on your own and even decorate all the pots. Not to mention the process of taking care of the plants by watering them and in the end, literally enjoying the fruits of your work. The pots are recycled and therefore in line with the main goals of eco-friendly classroom. Pupils collect old clay pots and plastic cups. They decorate them by taking up papier mache technic with different images of nature. For collecting all excessive water pupils use plastic tops. Pupils fill the pots with soil and usually plant tradescantia. All these plants become our classroom’s air filters. At the end of each school year children take their plants home, where the story continues.
Our classroom is a wonderful nature patch in the middle of a city centre. Plants are not only used as a decoration, but are important suppliers of oxygen. Fresh air should not be taken for granted as it contributes to better health of pupils and teachers. Consequently, there are less headaches, allergies and problems with seasonal cold problems.
Never the less, air pollution is responsible for many premature deaths. The statistics show that 1,700 people die due to air pollution in a year.
The air in closed areas is supposed to be 10 times more polluted than in outdoor areas. Indoors we are faced with radiation, mould, bad circulation and clapped-out materials. Therefore as the part of a duty as a teacher, I strive to teach pupils about different ways on how they can contribute to fresher air in their classrooms and at home.
In 2016, pupils manage to plant 60 extra pot plants and give them away as a gift to people passing by the town hall of Ljubljana as a way of raising awareness about the importance of fresh air in closed areas.