Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg (2017)

Buenos Nudging – The Sustainability Kit for Schools

3rd place of the YES! 2017

Our final solution to „Nudge Sustainable Consumption“ is set! We present the “Sustainability-Kit” for schools or other public places. This sustainability kit contains different nudges to raise awareness for sustainability and to improve the related consumer behaviour. One product of this sustainability kit is our stickers that will be stuck to the paper dispensers on toilets.

We realised that most people use too many paper towels to dry their hands and this cannot be considered sustainable consumption. Especially at our school students do not tend to mind their usage of paper towels. With various stickers which are included in our Sustainability Kit, we want to reduce the consumption of paper towels and raise awareness for the previous waste. Moreover, we created a jingle which is supposed to be played regularly in school so that students and teachers are reminded to behave environmentally friendly. Furthermore, we came up with the Sustainability-ABC. Small signs for every letter of the alphabet and related advice that should nudge to a more sustainable behaviour will be placed all over school. The last element of our kit, the „Paperbus“ focuses on paper waste in classrooms and especially false copies which would have normally been thrown away. This paper should be reused as scribbling paper with the aid of the paper bus, so it will not be wasted unnecessarily but used again.

This Sustainability Kit should not only make our school more sustainable but also be available to other schools in the future.


In the beginning, we were not quite sure what we should focus on. After some time we decided to deal with the topic of the wasteful use of paper and plastic. But should we concentrate on a local, national or international solution? What are the approaches already existing? What are urgent problems and possible solutions? Finally, we decided to focus on a local solution, and we realised that one could see many people behaving unsustainably at our school. That is why we started to target schools. Moreover, we thought not only our school has to deal with these issues but also many others. Therefore, a lot can be changed to a more sustainable behaviour if schools started to use our kit. We informed ourselves about the paper usage at our school and in the whole of Germany and came up with the solution to create the kit, which includes multiple nudges, so people can decide if they want to participate or not.

Next steps

We already tested our sustainability kit at our school and succeeded. Therefore, we would like to create a website and offer our kit to other schools and public institutions so they can profit from its advantages: Reducing their usage of paper and behaving more sustainably. Furthermore, we want the kit to be developed not only by us but also by the schools which want to participate. Additionally, we probably want to start a new sustainability kit for plastic or water. Moreover, we will continue to use the kit at our school and hope that it will help to reduce the waste!

¡Buenos Nudging! We say: „Sí“! 

Photo: (c) YES!

The Team

The Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg is a secondary school of about 850 students, situated in Poppenbüttel, a district in the north of Hamburg.

According to the school’s motto „performance – creativity – humanity“, our students and teachers show a lot of commitment and creativity when working together, not only during lessons but also beyond the classroom.

This year, the Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium participates for the second time in the YES! – Young Economic Summit. And we do so with good reason: For one, economy, politics and geography play a prominent role in our school’s curriculum and we believe it is important to look beyond one’s nose in order to deal with current problems and topics of these fields.

But we also find the three constituents of our motto well reflected in the YES-project:

We will definitely need a great deal of creativity to come up with a fresh, or even totally new solution to our topic.

Humanity means looking at the needs of other people and being aware of the responsibility we all share for making this world a better place. This is exactly what happens at YES!, when students try to draft solutions for a fair, healthy, caring society.

Performance in the context of YES! will be demanded of all participants when acquiring knowledge and finding innovative ways of dealing with it. And, last but not least, YES! is a competition, and even if we truly believe in the Olympic motto, who does not like to win…?

The presentation as  a Prezi: