Green Week at German school motivates students everywhere to be healthy

Leah Wewoda, Foreign Correspondent


Leah Wewoda/The Explorer

As a part of Green Week, SMV sold sandwiches during free periods at Herzog Christoph Gymnasium. Students were able to pick their toppings, spread, vegetables, deli products and bread.

     “Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider. Warum lieb‘ ich alles was so grün ist? Weil unsere Erde durch und durch grün ist.”
     It might have been around cherry blossom some years ago, when somebody had those lines stuck in his head all day long. Actually those are parts of the lyrics of a German song everybody in Germany has already heard of during his time in kindergarten, saying in brief: “All of my clothes are green, green, green. Why do I love green, everything that’s green? Because I love earth, and earth itself is green. ”
     This “singing someone” was the head of the student government at my school, the High School “Herzog – Christoph – Gymnasium” in Beilstein, Baden-Württemberg – a small town compared to cities in America.
     As soon as the Student Government (Schüler Mit Verantwortung, SMV, is what it’s called over here) had a meeting to brainstorm ideas for upcoming events, the vision was born: the vision of keeping the earth green. The idea to give everybody at our school, no matter which favourite subjects, which favourite sports or which favourite kind of music, the opportunity to feed themselves with healthy products. The idea to support better working conditions for workers at fruit or vegetable farms abroad – by buying Fair Trade products. The idea of depolluting our personal surroundings by separating plastic and paper waste.
     The idea of a simply “Green Week.”
     Soon the project “Green Week” started to grow – and started to take place once a school year, organized by students for students, and every year is a little bit different.
     So this year we decided to do something special, something that the students as well as the teachers would be able to identify with for “Green Week,” taking place in the second week of April.
     Why not offer something sweet one day, something salty the next day?
     The first day we organized a sandwich bar. Since I had to make a list of everything we would need to do all the grocery shopping (which of course had to be green and fair trade) and furthermore to develop the concept for the whole sandwich-event, I can tell that it’s a lot easier to simply buy sandwiches and eat them than to organize the whole thing. But I can also tell: in the end students will be the ones who are proud of the crew, stressed but happy at the same time, and they will have made an experience that no one ever can take away. Those who have been on stage as part of a play, for example, might know what I’m talking about: this feeling of being exhausted but happy.
     Well, you may ask yourself what the concept was like – here’s the answer.
     Inspired by the system in chain stores such as Subway, we agreed on a system of different steps – one for each ingredient. What would your sandwich look like?

Step 1: Choose your sandwich!
     -Whole grain or muesli-bread?
Step 2: Choose your spread!
     -Cream cheese french (rosemary) or Italian (bell pepper and tomato)
Step 3: Choose your deli product!
     -Ham or cheese?
Step 4: Choose your veggies!
     -Lettuce or carrots?
Step 5: Choose your topping!

     Within two days we sold about 300 sandwiches – that means that almost every second student bought one!
Mission completed. Not only completed, but completed successfully!
     Since it was time for something sweet the next day, we had some trouble finding a product that was sweet but healthy at the same time. Fruits would be an option of course, but that’s something the majority of students always gets to take with them from home. What about using some plain fruits but creating something special − smoothies!
     I personally loved the recipes we got to test one afternoon at the Smoothie Team leader’s house. The names were especially fun: Kiwilicious, VerryBerry, MultiCulti – my absolute favourite was the MultiCulti, a blend of strawberries, banana and mango.
     On Friday, the last but definitely not least event would take place. Not having announced what we would offer, the so-called surprise took place. During the long process of organization we had asked ourselves how we could find a way to offer something for free. A juicy fruity fruit juice for every student? Sounds good to me, but it might not be the cheapest thing on earth... But some still insisted on the idea, so we decided to ask fair trade juice companies whether they would mind donating us around 700 juices. Juices with blueberry, with mango or passion fruit. No one really believed it would happen, since the transport sounded really complicated. But indeed: after a lot of calls, a lot of stress and debates, the final announcement: we were donated juices for the whole school!
     To conclude, I would say that it is possible to treat yourself with healthy food that is delicious. That’s something Green Week taught some of the students who never had believed in such a project. I love it, Green Week is something special at our school, something to really be proud of in my view. We ran the project! Everybody did his best, no matter whether he cut vegetables in pieces, earned the money or helped blending the fruits in a mixer. We succeeded thanks to everybody’s help and did the first step to keep earth a green place – what kindergarten had always taught us!


2015-05-19 08:30:17