Topic outline

  • Summary

    "die umweltberatung" (Eco counselling, non-profit organisation in Austria) invited all creative individuals to participate in a Video contest. The challenge was to create alternatives to plastic bags by reusing used material (textiles and all other recycling material) and to provide a step-by-step instruction for other interested persons on a video via www.youtube.com. The contest was run in 2011, but all submitted videos are available on YouTube to encourage future generations of creative students.

  • Aims

    The aim of this project was to highlight the enormous use of plastic material, to show sustainable alternatives to the plastic bag and to motivate consumers to a reasonable reuse of textiles and other recycling materials.

  • Main activities

    *        Learning about the benefits of recycling and the reuse of material; Design a Reuse Bag from recycling material;

    *        Provide a step-by-step instruction;

    *        Create a video in accordance to the contest instructions;

    *        Submit the video (upload it to YouTube) to the contest.

  • Involved actors

    Environmental educators, teachers.

  • Connection with the curriculum

    Linked to the Austrian curriculum of Biology (ecology and environmental education) in secondary I and II level. The activities of the case are based on creativity and therefore linked to the curriculum of arts; further digital competences (making a video) in general are addressed.

  • Where to find the application or case

    All videos submitted to this contest can be found on 

  • Content

    Contest in 2011: The Austrian NGO „die umweltberatung“ Eco Counselling invited all creative individuals to design durable and creative alternatives to the commonly used plastic bags and to produce a step – by- step instruction for other interested persons on a video. The aim was to raise awareness for the enormous waste of plastic material and for the consequences for the environment. In concerns of related environmental topics teachers and students were supported by educators and experts of “die umweltberatung” by demand.

    Target audiences are adolescent students and young adults. Most of the submissions came from young adults, 58 creative videos of individual Reuse Bags have been submitted to the contest. The participants created bags e.g. from used umbrellas, water balls, tights and even ring binders, the Reuse Bags had to pass a tear strengths test. The contest jury was composed of experts in the fields of film and fashion. The videos of the winners were presented at the ceremony and all submitted videos are available on www.youtube.com to serve as motivation and examples of good practice for all interest individuals. This project equates to one of the important aims of “die umweltberatung”: waste avoidance and careful use of resources.

    The presented case can be used as good practice example for cross curricular activities. Teachers (biology and arts) can use the results of this contest to motivate their students to deal with waste avoidance and careful use of resources.

    “die umweltberatung” provides a number of educational materials dealing with relevant topics; they can be found and freely downloaded by interested individuals from the website of this NGO (German language): http://www.umweltberatung.at/themen-wohnen-abfallvermeidung and http://www.wenigermist.at/downloads.

  • Relation to a green topic and curriculum

    The case is related to the Austrian curriculum of the subject Biology “:“ecology and environment” in general and more concrete to the green topics waste avoidance and careful use of resources.

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

    The case is focusing on the topics “waste avoidance” and “careful use of resources”, and activating the creativity of students by engaging them in designing Reuse Bags on the one hand and creating an online video on the other hand. Therefore the collaboration of the subjects biology, arts and ICT is self-evident.

  • Relevance to the daily life of students

    The relevance to the daily life of the students is given as they all are concerned with waste and waste avoidance as well as resources and the careful use of them. The case is at the same time demanding creativity and digital competences and therefore addressing and motivating a broader group of individuals to deal with this “green” topics.

  • Based on accurate and factual professional expertise

    The educational material and the professional expertise were provided by the Austrian NGO „die umweltberatung“ (Eco counselling). Feedback to participants of the contest was given by experts in the fields of film and fashion.