Thursday, September 25, 2008

SLCS Visit Wanaka Wastebusters

On Tuesday we had a visit from Southern Lakes Christian School senior class. This was a continuation on the visit we made to the resource recovery park in Queenstown. It's great for everyone to see 2 different recycling systems in operation.

On the tour we follow the path of the recycling you put out at home. Walking around the yard you can see all the different processes it goes through, the sorting line, storage, bailing, more storage....You get to see and smell why it's a good idea to rinse out your recycling. As we watch the press compact the materials we guess how much it will compact them? Wonder at how much the polystyrene machine chomps through and so much more.....

If you would like to book a tour around Wanaka Wastebusters then please contact me, Simon (, 03 443 8606 ext.3) and we will find a time that suits. The tours last about 30 - 90 mins depending on your level of interest and questions.

Pictures of the tour will be added soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wanaka Primary Planning Session

On Tuesday morning I worked with Claire and Kerry from Wanaka Primary using the planning tools from the kit. We discussed two action project ideas, edible gardens and tidying up the exercise track around the school grounds.

We chose to plan the edible gardens. Using the action planner from section 3 of the kit, Kerry and Claire soon got the hang of it so they can now carry out this exercise with the children. This also helped identify the different elements the project will involve, which was just the information we needed to help us fill out the Enviroschools project planner from the handbook. This planner indicates the guiding questions asked, which activities can be used to answer those questions, the desired competencies, what the students and teachers will do, how it will tie into the curriculum areas and what time scale it has. This planner can now be passed around at the next staff meeting to help bring everyone up to speed with what the project involves and see how different elements this project can carried out by different classes / groups within school.

Central Otago Cluster Meeting - The First One!

On Tuesday afternoon we held the first of the Central Otago Education for Sustainability cluster meetings. We invited teachers who have already been to one of our introduction to EfS workshops to come along and participate in a workshop specifically geared around zero waste in school.

The turn out was fantastic, so thank you to everyone who came. The discussions were awesome and there were lots of examples of work that the different schools had been involved in as they are reducing their waste. This opportunity to share your work with other schools is so valuable. Even if you think you've covered the topic we discus in the cluster meetings you can still play a very important role in supporting and inspiring other schools on their EfS journey.

Keep an eye on your inbox for details of the next workshop, and if anyone has one of Tania's Enviroschools scrapbooks can you please let her know. These scrapbooks are so useful for the work she does and there is no way of getting any more.

Queenstown Primary - A New Enviroschool

On Monday afternoon, Jenny Neilson (Otago Enviroschools Regional Coordinator), Tania McLean (Education for Sustainability Adviser, University of Otago College of Education) and myself were invited to a full staff meeting at Queenstown Primary. The main purpose of this was to congratulate them on becoming and Enviroschool and introduce the full staff to the program.

We introduced ourselves and what we did, giving examples of how we can help school and some of the projects we have worked on in other Enviroschools. Gave a quick overview of the Enviroschools program and Tania did a super fast version of her introduction to Education for Sustainability presentation.

The meeting was wrapped up with a photo shoot and interview for the ODT, so keep your eyes out for that. Thanks to Stefan Borowy (QLDC solid waste manager) and Noel from the board of trustees for coming along to sign the agreement and celebrate school joining this fantastic program.

Congratulations Queenstown Primary, we are all very excited about having you on board with Enviroschools and we are all looking forward to being involved in all the great projects you come up with.

To find out more about Queenstown Primary, visit their website (

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Enviroschool Facilitators Meeting

Once a term I travel over to Dunedin to meet with all the other Enviroschools facilitators, our regional coordinator and the Otago Education for Sustainability adviser. It's a fantastic opportunity for me to catch up with everyone else and be inspired by work done in other schools across the region.

This week we were lucky enough to meet with Peter Taylor and his team of specialists from Otago Regional Council. This was a great way to introduce each other and find out how we can all help each other along and promote sustainable practices across the region.

The team of specialists may be able to help your school in the fields of air quality, water, climate change amongst many others. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know more,

SLCS visit the Wakatipu Resource Recovery Park

Inspired by my visit to school with the year 3 & 4's, Southern Lakes Christian School booked themselves in for a tour of the resource recovery park in Frankton. I was asked if I would like to come along as a helper.

We started off the visit with a look around the reuse shop, perfect for the year 3 & 4's, they soon figured out heaps of different uses for most of the stuff in the shop, well done guys.

We were lucky enough to have as our tour guide Stefan Borrowy, the QLDC Solid Waste Manager. He did an awesome job of showing us around and in small groups we got to go into the plant area and have a really good look at their MRF (Materials Recycling Facility).

This was a great tour, it's really useful for everyone to see what happens to all their stuff that they put out for recycling.

If you would like your school to go on a tour of the Wakatipu Resource Recovery Park, please phone QLDC on 03 441 0499. If you would like a tour of Wanaka Wastebusters, then please phone me, Simon, on 03 443 8606 ext. 3

Reuse - Queenstown Primary and Southern Lakes Christian School

Last week I delivered the first of the EERST Zero Waste Education modules. Myself and the year 3's from Queenstown Primary and the year 3 & 4's from Southern Lakes Christian School had a fantastic time discussing all the ways we can reuse our stuff.

The idea behind this is that we buy less and throw away less. We have some great discussions about our stuff and what to do with it once we have used it for it's original purpose. I'm in class for four lessons on consecutive days and we have a range of activities to do from the workbook. The culmination on the final day is for every student to make either a desk tidy or piggy bank of of what would have been waste in the past. The only rule is that we cannot use anything new.

I was blown away with all the great creations we made, have a look at some of the awesome pics below, I'm sure you will be as impressed as I am. If you would like to book me to come to teach some of these modules at your school please email me,

Check out Room 23's blog and see their take on the Reuse module, well done guys, such great work!