Explore the toolkit and activities here

Step by step through the toolkit

Step 1 – Choose your topic

This is already done!

If you want to explore a different topic, you can go back to the overview and choose a different one.

Step 2 – Find your activity

Now, we invite you to explore the activities. Each activity features a step-by-step description and more information on duration, number of participants, and more…

Step 3 – Explore the materials

You can choose whichever activity fits your needs and your learners best. Some activities also provide further information in the form of a tutorial video, printable handouts, as well as additional resources.

Closing the Loop: principles of the Circular Economy

“Closing the Loop: Principles of the Circular Economy for Cities and Houses” is a targeted activity offering insights into applying circular economy principles specifically within urban and residential contexts. Participants will delve into strategies for sustainable urban planning, efficient resource use, and waste reduction, empowering them to envision and implement circular practices that contribute to more resilient and eco-friendly cities and homes.

Blended setting

It is not possible to work in a blended version as each group has to move from one poster to the next one. This makes the activity interactive in the way each group builds on the previous group’s brainstorming.

Skills addressed
  • Social skills
  • Analytical skills
Expected learning achievements
  • Comprehensive understanding of key principles and strategies of the circular economy
  • Ability to analyse and apply circular economy concepts to urban planning, cities, and residential environments
  • Enhanced capacity to identify and implement sustainable practices in resource management within cities and households
  • Learning to identify opportunities for reducing waste and promoting a closed-loop system
Duration

min. 1 hour and 30 minutes

Group size

min. 6 participants

Materials

Slides and informative material on circular economy, 3 blank posters, tape, sticky notes, markers and pens

Step 1

Understanding Circular Economy Principles

For the first 20/30 minutes you should offer participants a comprehensive understanding of circular economy principles. This stage involves exploring the fundamentals of circular economy concepts and presenting case studies . Key topics will include resource efficiency, waste reduction, and the importance of creating closed-loop systems in urban and residential contexts.

Step 2

Brainstorming Activity, set the three blank posters with a guiding question on each: 1. Types of circularity, 2. Signs of circularity in your city and house, 3. Disseminating circularity

  • once you have set the posters, divide your class in three groups and each group starts filling in one of the posters answering the guiding questions
  • on the first poster the group starting will have to reflect on existing types of circularity, trying to identify different approaches or models within the broader concept of a circular economy
  • on the second poster the group starting will have to identify observable indicators or practices that reflect the adoption of circular economy principles within the local urban environment and residential spaces
  • on the third poster the group starting will have to imagine ways of spreading or sharing information, knowledge, and practices related to the circular economy. The goal is to promote and implement circular principles widely across various sectors, industries, communities, and individuals. Disseminating circularity involves educating, communicating, and fostering awareness to encourage the adoption of sustainable and circular practices
  • ideally you should allow 30 minutes for brainstorming and research if the group requires it on each poster, but you can decide to shorten the time if you have little time available for your workshop
  • After their first brainstorming, each group rotates to the right and moves to the next poster. This means that each group will build new ideas on the basis of what the previous group wrote on the poster.

TIP: allow groups to use sticky notes and coloured markers on the posters for more creative visual content

Step 3

As the final step allow each group to make a short 5/10 minutes presentation of the summary of thoughts and ideas emerged from all groups on the poster they last filled in. Each presentation should be allow time at the end for questions and comments from other participants.

Swap Party

The objective of our workshop is to allow participants to become familiar with swap parties as one of the concepts and practices of the circular economy and how to apply it in their own community. It also aims at normalising practices of exchange rather than dispose or keep unused. The key objective will be for participants to build confidence and skills for them to be able to imagine, project and deliver a swap party in their community.

Blended setting

Participants can be asked to make a self-directed work creating a magazine of people’s objects to exchange during the Swap party event using Canva.

The organisation of the Swap party event will require participants to self-organise themselves to organise the event (logistics, creation of the event on social media, invite people to join).

After the Swap Party event, invite participants to get together and evaluate the process:

  • How was it to organise the swap party? How did you feel?
  • The event met your expectations?
  • What worked well?
  • What can be improved?
  • What helped?
  • What didn’t help?
  • How can this practice be improved and expanded?
Skills addressed
  • Intercultural skills
  • Social skills
  • Digital skills
Expected learning achievements
  • awareness of possible community and local activity to diffuse a culture of circular economy
  • skills on how to imagine, plan and project an event by finding space, organising activities, advertising it and delivering it
Duration

240 minutes

Group size

5-10 participants

Materials
  • Tables, chairs, boards, papers, markers and laptops
  • Presentation about circular economy
  • Presentation about swap party
Step 1

20’ Getting to know each-other ‘s games:

Group activity: propose a game aimed at exchanging information about participants and breaking the ice. Eg.: Standing in a circle, each participant tells the story of one’s own name.

Step 2

1h 30’ Session 1: Swap party simulation

In plenary: Participants are invited to bring a small object (e.g. a book, clothes, etc.) and tell a story about that object around:

  • What is it?
  • How did I get it and why?
  • What are my feelings towards this object?
  • Why don’t I use it anymore?
  • Why and how could someone else use it?

Individual work: participants are invited to create a “post” containing the image and a description of the object as if someone else could get that object. They will then present it to the group in plenary.

You will introduce the concept of circular economy, recycling and upcycling: the swap party is a practice of Circular economy.

15’ Break

Step 3

1h 30’

What’s a Swap Party

Once the participants have experienced the swap party they will have a clear idea of the experience and be able to imagine it in their own community. At this point you will show the Swap party video tutorial and invite participants to prepare the event.

Step 4

Evaluation of the workshop:

  • How do you feel?
  • Were presentations clear for you?
  • How do you feel about the idea to be an organiser of the next swap party event?
  • What did you learn today?

Seeds of Change

Blended setting

This activity has to be done in-person but can also be done individually at home.

Skills addressed
  • Visual skills
  • Social skills
  • Environmental skills
Expected learning achievements
  • discover new ways to be more environmentally friendly
  • discover or deepen their knowledge and practice of non-formal learning and teaching
  • adopt a circular lifestyle
  • practice learnt values related to green digital practices
Duration

2 days

Group size

2+ participants

Materials

bowl, hot water, seeds, paper, blender, plate

Step 1

Cut the paper into small pieces and put it in a bowl.

Step 2

Pour hot water over it.

Step 3

Let it sink for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Blend the paper. Make sure that your paste doesn’t become too liquid. It should remain fairly consistent, like a toothpaste.

Step 5

Remove excess water. You can either use your hands or a tea towel.

Step 6

Add the seeds and mix them on the paper.

Step 7

Create different thick shapes out of the paper.

Step 8

Dry your paper for at least 1 day directly in the sun. When paper is dry, it’s ready to be gifted or planted.

Canvas for a Circular Economy Business Model

The “Canvas for a Circular Economy Business Model” activity aims to enhance participants’ socio-environmental skills by educating them on the principles and strategies of a circular economy. Through this activity, participants will gain knowledge on how to transition from a linear to a circular economy. This involves reimagining existing products or services and creating new ones that contribute to the shift.

Blended setting

The workshop can be imagined in blended version by allowing remote participants to connect via a platform (e.g. zoom, meet or teams) and depending on the number of online participants they can either work together online in a separate zoom room, or they can be divided in groups or they can work with other participants in person. The business model canvas can be recreated and filled in on a miro board to facilitate online collaboration.

Skills addressed
  • Analytical skills
  • Social skills
  • Professional skills
  • Environmental skills
Expected learning achievements
  • The participants will achieve a good knowledge of key principles and strategies of circular economy and they will develop the capacity to imagine how to shift from linear to circular economy by reimagining existing services or products or creating brand new products or services which will contribute to the shift away from a linear economy to a circular economy.
Duration

120 – 180 minutes

Group size

6 – 12 participants

Materials

Slides and informative material on circular economy and circular business models, printed business model canvas

Step 1

As the very first step in the procedure make sure that all participants gain basic knowledge over the concept of Circular Economy by introducing key theoretical aspects.

To do so, dedicate the first part of the workshop to:

  • present key concepts and ideas of Circular Economy by providing knowledge over the historical background and main institutional take on Circular Economy;
  • introduce key strategies to shift towards a Circular Economy;
  • bring examples of innovative methods of contributing to a circular economy, good practices of circular economy. You can do this by presenting businesses which adopted a circular economy business model by applying those strategies introduced. It would be great to do a bit of research beforehand and bring practical examples of circular businesses in your town. This will simplify the understanding of what a circular business is and how we can all benefit from it!
Step 2

During the second half of the workshop participants will be expected to apply the theoretical knowledge to a practical exercise by filling in a circular business model canvas. To facilitate this part of the workshop follow the steps below:

  • make sure you are familiar with the business model canvas and present it to the participants. Take some time to go through all its parts and components, explaining and making examples on how to fill it in with information by each person or working group
  • decide whether you want people to work independently, in pairs or in groups
  • you can also decide whether you want to explain all section of the canvas at the beginning or do a gradual explanation where you allow time for filling in after each time a section was explained
  • allow time to brainstorm a circular economy business model by completing all parts of the canvas
Step 3

Wrapping up and restitution

  • final moment will involve 5/10 minutes presentation of the circular economy business they imagined by each group, each presentation should be allow time at the end for questions and comments from other participants

If I were an archaeologist

The activity explores the meaning of circularity through the practice. The participants discover different possible interpretations of circularity by inventing themselves new functions and giving new meaning to objects and images.

Ambiente Misto

The activity can be done within an online setting too if, instead of objects, you work with photos depicting these objects. For the visual storytelling part, you can choose between the video storytelling or the display panel. 

Skills addressed
  • Analytical skills
  • Social skills
  • Professional skills
  • Intercultural skills
Expected learning achievements
  • The methods enable the participants to explore different understandings of circularity – such as circular skills, up-cycling materials or the circular transmission of knowledge – through practice and playfulness while they also acquire diverse skills. It can also be oriented in different directions by emphasising different skills corresponding to the specific needs of different target groups.
Duration

90 -120 minutes (depending on the size of the group)

Group size

4-12 participants

Materials
  • A collection of photos that can be also shared digitally with video projector or on the participants smartphones/or a collection of everyday objects and tools
  • Pens and paper sheets or notebooks
Step 1

PREPARING THE WORKSHOP

Collect everyday objects linked to a topic you would like to explore with your participants such as professional insertion or environmental protection etc. Examples are uniforms, electronic devices, office equipment items, household waste such as plastic bottles, organic waste such as leaves, branches or just simple everyday objects.

Step 2

OBSERVATION AND DESIGN THROUGH IMAGINATIVE ROLE PLAYING

Tell your participants that they are now archaeologists from the future and they have just discovered these items that they have to describe in a scientific manner to present them in a museum afterwards.

Everyone shall choose one object or image, and observe it as we didn’t really know what it was used for so that we need to invent their function. They can analyse their objects through answering the following questions:

  • Describe the object’s physical characteristics : material, size, form, weight, is it new or used, etc. Try to be as precise as possible.
  • What might have been the object’s function or functions?
  • If there are any specific circumstances to be mentioned about how, when and where it is used, describe it.
  • What does the object tell about its user(s), owner(s) such as sex, age, economic, cultural or ethnic background, etc.?
  • Describe also what your conclusions are based on, for instance if you compare it to other objects with similar functions. Try to find other objects used for the same purpose by other people, in other cultures, etc.
  • What does the object tell about the society, the era, or the geographical zone in which it is used

Ask the participants to write down their answers.

Step 3

ARCHAEOLOGISTS’ ASSEMBLY (PRESENTATION)

Sit around the table: now you form a scientific committee composed of archeologists. Listen to each other’s presentations about the found objects.

Step 4

VISUAL STORYTELLING

To expose the object you found in a museum, you will need to show it in a way that best represents its utility. Work in pairs : choose a person who will play the role of the museum curator who you can work with and create a visual presentation of your object choosing one of these methods:

  • video storytelling (interview the archeologist and film it. Integrate images into your interview about the object. You can make an edited version of your video using the You Cut application)
  • stop motion movie (animate your object by taking sequential photos of it to follow its movement in space)
  • narrative photography (take photos of the objects while they used)
  • display panel for exhibition (create a layout of photos and texts by using Canva for instance)

Once you’re done, change roles and create a different type of presentation of the objects of the person you are working with.

Share your visual presentations.

Eco-friendly events: a small guide

“Eco-friendly Events: A Small Guide” is a concise and informative activity designed to provide practical insights into organising environmentally sustainable events. Participants will gain valuable knowledge and practical tips on minimising environmental impact, reducing waste, and promoting eco-conscious practices in event planning.

Blended setting

The workshop can be imagined in blended version by allowing remote participants to connect via a platform (e.g. zoom, meet or teams) and depending on the number of online participants they can either work together online in a separate zoom room, or they can be divided in groups or they can work with other participants in person. The sustainable event guide can be created and filled in a miro board to facilitate online collaboration.

Skills addressed
  • Visual skills
  • Social skills
  • Environmental skills
Expected learning achievements
  • Learn about the importance of minimising environmental impact and promoting sustainability in various aspects of event management
  • Develop practical skills in incorporating sustainable practices into event logistics, venue selection, waste management, and resource usage
Duration

120 – 180 minutes

Group size

6 – 12 participants

Materials

Slides and informative material on circular economy and KPIs for sustainable events

Step 1

Understanding sustainable event practices

In this introductory session, facilitators will delve into the fundamentals of sustainable event practices. Participants will gain insights into the environmental impact of events and the importance of adopting eco-friendly approaches. Topics covered will include:

The concept of sustainability in event planning.

Environmental considerations in venue selection, transportation, and resource management.

Case studies showcasing successful eco-friendly events.

Step 2

Practical application and small guide creation

Building on the foundational knowledge gained, facilitators will guide participants through the process of applying eco-friendly strategies to event planning. This hands-on session will involve:

Brainstorming and sharing ideas for incorporating sustainable practices in different aspects of event management.

Group activities to develop practical skills in creating an eco-friendly events guide.

Discussion on challenges and solutions in implementing sustainable event practices.

Here is a suggested structure for building a mind map on sustainable events:

https://flinga.fi/s/F5L6SU6

BEWARE: you can zoom in and zoom out on the Flinga board but other features have been blocked for view-only accessibility. This is meant to be an open resource available for everyone to take inspiration from. You can create a copy once you login into your Flinga accout: https://flinga.fi/

Feel free to implement this on your own Flinga board or using some posters, sticky notes and post it. If you feel comfortable structuring it, feel free to do so, you can choose customise it to best fit your crowd

Step 3

Final restitution of group works

Leave sometime at the end for group work restitution and foresee some interactions, like a Q&A session for each group from other participants.

Additional resources

Explore the numerous resources freely available online offered by Julie’s Bicycle, please navigate the resources according to the type of event you are evaluating, and area of sustainability you are approaching.