SPARE Motor Rally: Vladimir - Vologda

Authors: Irina Skiba, Vasilisa Skiba, Lyudmila Zhirina.

Interpreter: Pamela Peters Hughes, volunteer, USA

The entire staff of the Vladimir Waldorf School has been participating for many years in environmental programs for the preservation of climate and biodiversity, the introduction of alternative types of energy, and energy conservation. Each annual field practice is a creative program for obtaining new knowledge from nature itself, including opportunities for self- realization and eco-education of others. In Waldorf schools, parents and children constantly interact. Therefore, the focus on motivation for actions and support for actions forms environmental habits, saves resources and improves the family budget.

The students decided to devote the summer practice of 2021 to SPARE-enlightenment. A car rally is a very convenient direction of tourism in the conditions of covid. Regional coordinators sent mock-ups of posters and SPIRE materials for the school in advance. The head of the program was the teacher Alexandra G. Klimova, and the participants were 15 ninth-graders.

The school allocated an energy-saving eco-mini-bus, the parents supported it financially, and the students developed their own program. The schoolchildren lived in tents that were purchased by the Yaroslavl Autonomous Non-profit organization "Legend of the Russian Estate" with the support of a Presidential grant and provided to Vladimir schoolchildren for free rent.

Vladimir schoolchildren conducted environmental lessons on the following topic: "The impact of climate change on forest and swamp fires". The children walked many tens of kilometers with regional foresters along route accounting trails, studied sanitary logging, and learned to conduct biomonitoring. Of particular interest were workshops on land use and construction of rural private houses with alternative types of heating and heat preservation: polygonal buildings, the use of thermal materials, insulation of high foundations, and the use of solar, wind, soil and local mini-hydroelectric power plants for life on farms and in forestry.

Russian Railways have declared 2021 the Year of Ecology. Therefore, regional employees of Russian Railways provided students with thematic booklets on the topics: "How does Russian Railways improve energy efficiency.” The students learned that the energy intensity of the main production activity of Russian Railways has been reduced by 16.5% over the past 10 years.

Vladimir schoolchildren created presentations on the topics "Life without waste” and "Environmental habits.” These presentations were given to 15 schools from different regions to attract them to the ranks of the SPARE program.

This Waldorf summer practice has helped to conduct classes and workshops on waste and environmental habits every evening, based on the new methodological brochure of SPARE on waste. Vladimir schoolchildren showed local residents their examples and opportunities to completely abandon disposable plastic even while traveling.

In the Yaroslavl region, together with local schoolchildren, they began to form School Climate Sites, develop "School Weather stations", monitor the current local climate, and collect climate data on this territory over the past years (using library materials and collecting information from the population). The staff of the NGO "Legend of the Russian Estate" allocated the territory for these sites and provided great assistance in organizing a special department in the library.

The students started their SPARE tour in Vladimir, and went through the Ivanovo, Moscow, Yaroslavl, and Tver regions of the Central Federal District of the Russian Federation. We finished our eco-educational car rally in the north of the Vologda region: at the Bozino campsite, 20 km from the city of Kirillov. Here, for several days, the Vladimir team lived in cottages on the shore of Lake Siverskoye, which is part of the Russian North National Park. Here, the students watched and discussed the video: "Survive eco-friendly by traditional methods" about how the Northern peoples collect, store and use the traditions of their ancestors.

Many of the recommendations of the northerners can be used in other regions as well.

Of course, in the conditions of the pandemic, mass festivals and meetings with the local population were limited in quantity, but the whole program was successful!



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