The Institute of Theology and Ecology (IThE) emphasizes the issues of educating young pupils about environmental issues, by accentuating the importance of the OAC’s Museum of Cretan Herbs, by presenting the OAC’s Photovoltaic Installation and by developing an: "Interactive - Experimental Paper Recycling Laboratory with Introduction of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Sustainable Resources Management". This Lab is based on the fact that recycling follows the steps of life. The tree grows on the earth, raises with the sun and the water, it develops roots, branches, fruits and finally it dies. When it dies, it returns to the earth, where it started, contributing to the birth of new trees.
The IThE’s Lab explains to the children the meaning of respecting the environment and of denying to consume natural resources unnecessarily. As the best lesson is given through action, the Lab is organized in a way that the children observe the process of recycling and participate in practice. During the day of the Laboratory at the OAC, the pupils recycle paper that they do not need (e.g. old newspapers, photocopies) and follow the simple and comprehensible steps of producing paper pulp. By this methodology, the children perform the recycling process in real time and produce their own recycled A4 size paper, following the same procedure as mass recycling facilities do. This activity helps them to understand the importance of recycling in everyday life.
The Laboratory concludes with a debate on climate change, RES, energy democracy and poverty. At the end, the pupils have the chance to: a) use a model of a solar helicopter, b) visit the OAC’s Museum of Cretan Herbs, c) view the OAC’s 50kWp Photovoltaic Installation, d) walk along the OAC’s natural stone pathway, e) enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea and f) be in direct contact with nature.
Photos from the above mentioned OAC’s environmental educational programs follow: