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Benefits of the Programme

Eco-Schools is a democratic and participatory programme that provides an excellent opportunity for pupils to experience active citizenship in school. It brings many benefits both to schools and the wider community. These include the following:
Increased Environmental Awareness
Students (as well as teachers and other school staff!) are encouraged to use their new environmental knowledge in the everyday life of the school. This helps pupils to see the relevance of what they learn in the classroom.

Youth and children are encouraged not only to take practical action in and around their school, but also to communicate to their communities.

An Improved School Environment
Students and staff can work together on such issues as reducing litter and waste and run the school in an environmentally conscious way.
Involvement of the Local Community
Local authorities, organisations and businesses have expertise in many areas of environmental management and may be willing to cooperate in the Eco-Schools initiative. The result is a more integrated community.

Maintenance of a school orchard is one of the many activities in which students and school staff may participate together.

Pupil Empowerment
Through the democratic process involved in Eco-Schools, pupils can take control of their own environment, learning and taking decisions about how to improve both their home and school environments.
Financial Savings
Actions undertaken throughout the programme may lead to savings in the school's energy bills and water consumption, for example. Reducing waste and collecting materials for recycling, for example, can help raise money for the school.

National Programme Managers Meetings, Teacher training sessions, Workshops, Thematic Seminars,
"Summer Camps" and Eco-Schools Award ceremonies are just some of the events organized at national and international levels.

International Contacts
Schools can create links with other Eco-Schools in their own country and in any other country involved in the programme. These links not only give a chance to share environmental information between schools but can also be used as a means for cultural exchange and improving language skills.
For information on how to join in, contact the Eco-Schools programme manager in your country through the international network.

Students take decisions about how to improve both their home and school environments.