In line with the UN Sustainable Goals, Laudato Si’ and Imperative 3, “Care of Our Common Home,” of Being Artisans of Hope, the School of the Sacred Heart in Vienna has, since 2018, included extra curriculum activities that “commit to reflection, critical analysis and action in order to effect changes in the root causes and system that endanger our planet …” (Being Artisans of Hope, pp. 16-17)
The school has developed and implemented a number of activities that have its secondary school students involved in understanding their relationship with the earth and acknowledging their personal responsibility for our common home. Activities focused on reducing the use of plastic and improving school waste management. Actions included the installation of a water dispenser to avoid the use of water plastic bottle. They also run an awareness raising campaign on the limited use of water plastic bottle while on their English study trip. Waste management actions included the cleaning of the school garden and a meticulous sorting of waste in each classrooms – classes get bonuses (for an internal school prize) according to the cleanness of their classroom and their effort in sorting properly their waste.
The gymnasium 4A class is a winner of the St Georgs Education Award of the Main Association of Catholic Parents' Associations in Austria.
Students feel inspired and engaged to fight for a sustainable earth. Their understanding of interconnectedness strengthens their capacity to make responsible choices in their everyday life, thus limiting their complicity in unfriendly environmental practices.