Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Robot Bird teaches kids about recycling

A fun, interactive sculpture installed in Belgrade aims to animate and educate the citizens and their children about the importance of recycling.


by Lidija Grozdanić

Photo courtesy of the Octopus Association.

The secret of environmental education is to take a ‘get them while they’re young’ approach. The earlier people start to perceive eco-friendly behavior as an integral part of everyday life, the better. According to eco-psychology, a recent interdisciplinary movement, it is never too early to explore and develop emotional bonds with nature. Exposing young children to eco-friendly practices and projects can help them develop sustainable lifestyles later on. One of the most successful Serbian projects oriented towards the education of children was organized by the “Octopus” Association. Their latest project-The Robot Bird integrates art and cultural activities with environmental protection.


Photo courtesy of the Octopus Association.
The Robot Bird installation is an interactive ecological sculpture, placed in 2009 in the municipality of Savski Venac in Belgrade. It has a practical and a promotional function. It helps secondary separation of waste by collecting and storing tins. Since July 2009 this sculpture has been fed with tins by over 100.000 citizens, thus making profit for the purchase of 4 new washing machines.

The whole system of the Bird Robot is supplied by solar energy. In addition to the bird, a promotion stand was put up as well, with the purpose of informing the citizens about all ongoing ecological activities throughout the year. Thus a permanent promotion of this system has been enabled, educating the citizens about social benefits of renewable energy sources.

Photo courtesy of the Octopus Association.
Furthering the engagement with the general public, the competition "Lets name the Bird Robot" was initiated. During the first month only, about four hundred primary pupils from all elementary schools visited the sculpture. In the forthcoming period students delivered their proposals for the name of a bird, in the form of literary and art works. All the citizens of Belgrade took part in the voting. The sculpture was named Limenko Gutić (Tin Gutierrez) and the winning school, Jovan Miodragović, was awarded with three containers for tin, PET and paper recycling by the officials of many institutions that have supported the program.

This project announced the revitalization of landscaped urban areas of the Serbian capital. It was declared the investment of 2009 by Serbia’s leading business portal Ekapija. In December 2009 the Robot Bird was declared a cultural monument of the town of Belgrade, and it has been placed under the protection of the Belgrade Institute for Protection of Monuments.

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