Environmental education is a fundamental tool for any successful plan for sustainable development and nature conservation.
This campaign aims to promote sustainable environmental management and create awareness of the environmental reality of Soria. Both of these are key for understanding the relationships between natural and social systems. It is also important to realize how sociocultural factors are at the genesis of environmental issues. It is our goal to promote awareness and instil values and behaviours in our community that favour the effective participation of the population in finding eco-friendly solutions.
In this sense, environmental education can and should be a strategic factor that influences the established development model, in order to reorient it towards sustainability and equity. In other words, it should become the basis for developing a new and more sustainable way of life.
During 2019, the following programmes were carried out:
BLOCK 1: KNOW THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES
This block was addressed to the school community and the general public, offering various activities for different sectors:
- SCHOOL TRIPS TO THE DUERO RIVER BANKS, MOUNT VALONSADERO and ‘PINAR GRANDE’: A series of fun and educational activities were carried out so that the children of Soria learned about our natural resources. These activities were all in celebration of the International Day of Forests (21 March), the International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May), and World Environment Day (5 June).
- CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR: During the school holidays, an environmental fair was set up for the community’s children with activities and educational materials depicting Soria’s biodiversity. These lessons, divided into separate topic presentations, were carried out around the Dehesa Garden Centre. The main purpose of this initiative was to instil eco-friendly values while having fun.
- THEMATIC WORKSHOPS: A series of workshops focusing on sustainability were held at the Dehesa Garden Centre. People from our community learned how to make traditional soap and candles with used cooking oil, among other things.
BLOCK 2: PETS AND INVASIVE SPECIES
Educational talks were given at local schools with the aim of promoting community, sanitation, and hygiene. Facilitating information and resources to involve the population in tackling issues of accumulation of dirt and lack of hygiene that were affecting certain parts of the city.
- INVASIVE SPECIES : Educational talks were given at local schools to celebrate World Wildlife Day (3 March). The goal was to raise awareness about the issues with invasive species and the importance of maintaining biodiversity for sustainable development.
- AWARENESS-RAISING WORKSHOPS: "A PET IS MORE THAN JUST A FRIEND". The aim of this workshop was to raise awareness of the environmental consequences of abandoning pets as well as creating visibility for the work carried out by existing organizations that deal with these issues. Also, to provide a complete overview of the responsibilities entailed in pet ownership, and the problems raised through bad practices. The topics discussed included: abandonment, the environmental impact of feral animals, the issue of invasive species, etc.
- AWARENESS CAMPAIGN: In addition to the educational talks at schools and awareness-raising workshops for the general public, a booklet was produced with the municipal ordinances regarding the responsible ownership of pets.
BLOCK 3: ENERGY EFFICIENCY, SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY AND RECYCLING
Various initiatives were introduced to the community to promote the use of bicycles, and encourage the reuse of materials, and recycling.
- EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK: A series of fun and educational activities took place in celebration of ‘Car Free Day’ (22 September), in the context of the European Mobility Week. Among them were GYMKHANA, WORKSHOPS ON MOBILITY AND ROAD EDUCATION and an OBSTACLE COURSE for children and their families around the Duero river banks.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RECYCLING: Two workshops were held for adults, the ‘Handmade soap workshop’, where they used old recipes for making handmade soap from used cooking oil, and the ‘Recycling workshop’, held at the Assembly Hall of the Gaya Nuño Centre, to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and how to do it properly.