A GREENER START

Rikke Frafjord Ørstavik

rikke.orstavik@gmail.com
986 30 754

HOW CAN A GREENER SET OF HABITS BE INCORPORATED INTO THE LIFESTYLE OF YOUNG CHILDREN?

What do you want to achieve through your project?

The goal was to create a funny and, at the same time, educational way for children to learn about reduction, reuse and recycling in relation to consumption and use of materials. Toys and activities are intended to trigger their curiosity and help them to learn more about the topic.

What has inspired you?

My initial inspiration came from a summer job I had at an intermunicipal enterprise in Stavanger four years ago. I saw the opportunity of combining recycling and reuse with my education. Then I took part in the park day family event in summer 2015, and seeing how well children responded to a toy I had brought triggered a new direction in my master’s degree.

It was the curiosity and engagement of the children that continued to drive me forward, particularly the third- graders at Christi Krybbe school, where I carried out much of my workshop and survey work. When I had doubts about the project and my work so far, they helped me to feel confident that I was on the right track.

What have you discovered on the way?

I chose to work with children because I discovered how difficult it is to change the behaviour and habits of adults. Children are open to new things and are often excited about learning something new. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to change your set habits. But I have also seen that people are open to change, they are willing to make changes.

What is the result?

The result is a pop-up space consisting of modules of toys and activities that create spaces inside spaces and teach children about reduction, reuse and recycling. The toys are easy to assemble, set up and disassemble. The set-up tours different after-school care centres where the children can play and learn as much as they want to for a week, before it is packed up and moved to the next centre.

Why has this been important to you?

In recent years, I have begun to notice how our consumption has developed, and it is quite alarming. I wanted to use my education in interior design to contribute an idea of taking care of what we have and of learning to appreciate it.

What significance could this have for society?

I believe that when children acquire knowledge through play, they develop a greater interest in the topic. Hopefully, this will trigger a change in attitudes in coming generations, but also across generations. Children can play a role in changing adults’ behaviour and way of thinking.