-Lahti is a pioneer in environmental activities. European Green Capital 2021 gives many possibilities to develop environmental innovation and co-operation in the Lahti area. Salpaus is a multidisciplinary VET institute that actively co-operates with companies and organisations in this area. Participating in Green Capital 2021 is a unique experience and we happy to be involved, says principal Päivi Saarelainen.
Students from many fields of Salpaus have taken part in planning and preparing Green Capital activities. Here are some examples.
We have an on-going project that is called Haavi-Heikki. It is an innovational device designed to filter microplastics out of gray water pools and lake water. The device will take its power from the wind and solar power equipment. So far, the frame of the raft has been drawn by technical drawing students and built by students from construction and building department. Next, the frame will get its power equipment installed by students from electrical department. In the spring, the device can be seen in action collecting microparticles from gray water pools and lake water in Lahti area. And by then students from laboratory technology and environment departments will have joined the project. With this project, we want to give our students a chance to really make a difference and take part in saving our planet, says teacher of electricity, and project manager Hannu Aaltonen.
-Next fall, Salpaus is going to arrange a village festival for students and staff. The theme of the day is sustainable and biodynamic local food. In Salpaus we have used both local and biodynamic raw material already for years. We have also developed sustainable meals in our canteens, says education manager Marko Viljamaa.
-We will start a further qualification in sustainable tourism this spring. The students can learn about local nature and wild edible herbs and plants. The students can also qualify as a Horta Park Guide (English - Horta2021), says Viljamaa.
Environmental awareness a priority in Salpaus
-Environment and sustainable development are parts of all vocational training, says vice principal Seija Katajisto. It is important that future professionals can pay attention to sustainable development in their occupation and bring environment know-how to their workplaces.
– For instance, in restaurant and catering services it is important to minimize food waste, and to choose sustainable raw material. In logistics, the drivers need to learn economic driving style. Textiles and fashion students have projects about recycling and reuse. In construction and building there are plenty of environment related trends that our students learn in practice, describes Katajisto. Our students build family houses to real people and families, and that way we take part in creating culture of sustainable living and building.
Our environment and natural resources education takes place in Asikkala, in the beautiful Finnish countryside by the lake Päijänne. There we teach how to understand, sustainably use the environment and protect the future, says vice principle Katajisto.
We have now started a new training programme in Lahti. Green Innovators was developed to the needs of entrepreneurs and professionals who focus on developing sustainable and ecological innovative products and services. The training leads to the Specialist Product Development Qualification based on the real development projects in their own work.