Environment and the World We Live in: Children's Way of Creating and Consuming

  • Project no.2058
  • Duration 11/1997 - 01/2001

The overall aim of this project was to impart the MIPS concept to children and teenagers. The MIPS approach (Material Input Per Service Unit), developed by the Wuppertal Institute, demonstrates different possibilities for initiating a process of "dematerialisation" of our well-being; this can be done by:

  • lowering the consumption of natural resources in all lifecycle phases (extraction of raw materials, production, as well as use of the product to its disposal);
  • increasing the service unit of a product (e.g. product's longevity, multiple use, repairable products).

Children will be able to experience the direct and indirect consumption of natural resources required for the production of a product, shown as the product's "ecological rucksack".
This project aimed at raising awareness for environmental issues among children and teenagers. For this purpose, various educational units were developed for children in different age groups, ranging from about 4 to 14 years. Each unit corresponds to a respective age group through differences in medium, method and content:

  • the puppet theatre play (kindergarten, primary school): This play shows in an exciting manner that products and services carry along ecological rucksacks.
  • The ecological shopping game "Sarah's World" (8-12 years): Within this all-day game session, the ecological rucksacks will be discovered und experienced.
  • MIPS-Test (12-16 years): This cleverness-quiz provides teenagers with information about MIPS behavioural rules for their everyday life.
  • The booklet for parents and teachers contains additional information about the basis of the entire project.

The approach not only refers to the ethical concept of justice - an idea which the model of sustainable development is based on - but it also emphasises certain individual advantages of a "MIPS-friendly" behaviour.

The project team consisted of approximately 20 persons from various disciplines, such as educational science, design, social and natural science, theatre and play, and many more.

Further project information



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