Topic outline

  • Summary

    On 16 February 2005 the Kyoto Treaty enters into force. On that day the schools decided to put some symbolical attention to this treaty and put the heating at school at least one degree lower and stimulated students and teacher to wear warm clothes that day. This was their contribution to the Kyoto agreement.

    The schools organize various educational and leisure activities to raise awareness among their students, teachers and other school staff and to ensure an energy efficient school. Sustainable energy is the real message of the thick sweater day. Reducing energy also means reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • Aims

    For schools, the thick sweaters day marks the beginning of a supporting action campaign to a greater energy project. This way the schools want to send the message that everyone can contribute to a better environment

  • Main activities

    The Flemish Government organized the first Thick Sweaters day on February 16, 2005 (the day the Kyoto Protocol came into force). The aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. The Thick Sweaters day since then remembers everyone about the agreements of that important treaty. Everybody can save energy. The prevention of energy waste is an important step in the fight against energy consumption.

  • Involved actors

    Large-scale energy campaigns are a core task of the Flemish Energy Agency. Schools can use education materials provided by the Flemish government. Teachers can choose which actions they organize to save energy. 

  • Connection with the curriculum

    The week of February 16th the teachers work cross curricular on the theme of climate change. They can use education materials provided on the websites.

    There is extra attention for the global warming and energy saving during the classes about world orientation. In the class of geography student learn about the ecological footprint, waste and sustainable materials. 

  • Where to find the application or case

  • Content

    Thick sweater day is a yearly initiative organized by the environmental department of the Flemish government since 2005. The campaign focuses mainly on education. Schools can voluntarily sign up for the campaign.

    The Flemish Government organized the first Thick Sweaters day on February 16, 2005 (the day the Kyoto Protocol came into force). The aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. On that day the schools decided to put some symbolical attention to this treaty and put the heating at school at least one degree lower and stimulated students and teacher to wear warm clothes that day. This was their contribution to the Kyoto agreement. The thick sweaters day marks the beginning of a supporting action campaign to a greater energy project. By doing that the schools want to send the message that everyone can contribute to a better environment. The Thick Sweaters day since then reminds everyone about the agreements of that important treaty. Everybody can save energy. The prevention of energy waste is an important step in the fight against wasteful energy consumption.

    Every year, the schools organize various educational and leisure activities to raise awareness among their students, teachers and other school staff and to ensure an energy efficient school. Sustainable energy is the real message of the thick sweater day. Reducing energy also means reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What started as a fun event for schools has now become a major event. In 2006, government buildings (government agencies) participated, as well as the business world (companies). In 2008 families (home) were involved in the action. At the week of February 16th, the teachers work cross curricular on the theme of climate change. Students learn more about the global warming and energy saving during the world orientation classes. In geography class students learn about the ecological footprint, waste and sustainable materials. They use education materials provided on the several websites.

  • Relation to a green topic and curriculum

    Thick sweater day was initially organized to get the Kyoto treaties in the spotlights. Now this day is a symbolic day to get the attention for climate change, energy waste, biodiversity and many more.

  • Being interdisciplinary: Drawing upon many academic disciplines and teaching methods

    The whole school community is involved in this project. Teachers choose a topic in dialogue with the students and discuss it during classes. There are different organizations that provide the teachers and students with useful education materials and topics on biodiversity, climate change, nuclear energy etc.

    For example the education box from WWF. It’s an educational package for students aged 9 to 14years. It aims to make children think of the consequences of excessive energy and teach them to save energy, not only now but also in the future. This is done with a number of experiments. The experiments can be downloaded on the internet. For the teachers there is a guideline with a lot of background information. http://www.wwf.be/fr/ecoles/outils-pedagogiques-le-primaire/energie/la-boite-energie/787_12.

  • Relevance to the daily life of students

    The main intention of the project is to create awareness. Students learn to think about how they can save energy and to look for energy-conscious solutions. They have to apply their findings in real life. E.g. turning the lights of, using two sides of a paper.

  • Based on accurate and factual professional expertise

    Most schools work together on one or more topics and discuss it extensively. They use a variety of education materials to look for useful information like encyclopedia, internet, and library visits etc. They can also count on profession help from a team of professionals (There is even a free national number to call if help is needed http://www.lne.be/campagnes/dikke-truiendag/meer-informatie/contact).