This week my Garbology 101 students began to learn about e-waste. We did a little exercise which asked them to colour in all the objects on the page that require batteries to operate. It was interesting to see what they missed. Most of them didn’t pay attention to what was outside the window. Not everyone noticed the watch on the girl’s (at the desk) wrist.
Then we had a discussion about batteries and why we have to be very careful about how we dispose of them. We also talked about alternatives: most of the children are aware of the option of rechargeable batteries and some even have wind up torches and such. I also mentioned the option of solar powered tools (my torch runs on a small solar panel).
Of course, we ended the class with a discussion about how much of this we don’t actually need in life; most of the objects in the drawing are wants. So we discussed reduction and avoidance a bit, although I don’t think this class is quite ready for this aspect of Garbology just yet.