Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Three Little Pigs

Wanaka Primary put on quite possibly the best school play I have ever seen. With their new school being built and the school embracing the Eco-Hut Challenge, the juniors have embraced this with their production of the three little pigs.

Held at the Lake Wanaka Center, which was packed to capacity, the children gave an amazing performance. I'm sure we are all aware of the story of the three little pigs. Wanaka Primary gave a great little twist to it all and I was overwhelmed by how much they mentioned sustainability and recycling.

The three little pigs all investigated different building methods and materials. They all have their advantages but some have a few more dissadvantages than others, especially when you look at their strength. It didn;t take much huffing and puffing to blow downthe straw and stick houses. The house built from materials found at Wanaka Wastebusters stood the test of the big bad wolf!

We've all heard the Jack Johnson song 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'? Well watch out Jack, the students of Wanaka Primary have done a way better job of it than you. They were incredible and to be honest I was left rather speechless by the end of it. Absolutely blown away.

The sets and costumes were awesome! The acting and singing was first class. I've no idea what you guys are going to do next year but you've got a very hard act to follow.

If you come down to Wastebusters you can get windows, doors, taps.......

...and look what you can build

Do we have enough resources to keep on going like this?

When I was trained on the Zero Waste Education Resource Sustainability unit a few months ago I was pretty inspired with the content of it. It's aimed at intermediate level students, years 7 & 8, and boy does it pack a heavy weight punch.

Essentialy we look at the resources we have on planet Earth. What is our stuff made from? How is it made? What resources do we use in making it and getting it to us? What happens at the end of it's useful life? All of the questions you'd expect really.

To get a better understanding of this we look at cradle to grave manufacturing processes. When you look at this process, and especially the energy and waste involved within the manufacturing process it becomes rather overwhealming. When your attention reverts to the millions of plastic water bottles that are bought and discarded every day it just blows your mind. So many of us hardly spare a thought for what is embeded within our everyday products that we literally take for granted.

Even with this in mind it kinda seems like we've been trucking along nicely like this for a while, some guys are going on about the blobe warming up, but it can't make that much difference can it? Right.....If you need any more convincing on this issue I urge you to watch this short population animation. There is a little bit of an issue when we look at the math behind steady growth. Something we are all told is a good thing.....hmmmm I beg to differ. Steady growth is good at first but then it just goes beserk, like I say, watch this video and be prepared for your mind to be blown.

So now your mind has been blown we need to have some solutions. Rather than Cradle to Grave manufacturing we need to support Cradle to Cradle. So on the last of our four days in class we look at how we can put our waste product back into the manufacturing stream. Creating clean streams rather than waste streams.

We still need to follow the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle philosophy as well as purchasing as much produce as possible that has been made locally. However we will still purchase things that when they reach the end of their life will need to be discarded. So, lets really think about what we are buying and when we make a purchase use our super powered human brain to make an intelligent choice and buy a product that can go back into the manufacturing stream. If you're really on to it, you'll look for products that have been made from resources that have come from a waste stream.

This is such a powerful unit, please get in touch if you'd like me to deliver it to your school.

Reusing in the old goldtown

It would appear that September 09 is all about going back to schools I haven't been to in ages. It's so good to be back in Arrowtown Primary. 5 middles classes were the first to see me in my mamouth two week visit.
  1. As usual there were some very imaginative creations with the reusing objects in a bag game. What I do with this activity is;
  2. Split the class into five groups
  3. Each group gets a brown paper bag with three items in it
  4. The items get pulled out one at a time and then each group gets 30 seconds to give as many alternative uses for the item as possible
  5. Once we've been round the groups three times they all get a minute and a half to come up with something that all three items can be made into

Have a look below at some of the super cool desk tidies and piggy banks that these guys made, great work!

Chickens at the head of the lake......

It seems like it's been way too long since I paid a visit to Glenorchy. I tell you what, these guys have been busy......I'm sure you'll remember that they were planning to install a chicken coop to help take care of their organic waste, well it's arrived and is awesome!

The purpose of my visit wasn't to go and see the chicken coop, I had other things to do. Mainly deliver a few of the Zero Waste Education units. Over the two days I was there we got through Recycling and Compost with the senior class during the morning and then in the afternoons I worked with the very imaginative juniors on the Reuse unit. We had a ball, considering the very wide age range we managed to get everything done and when it came to making the desk tidies and piggy banks I'll sure you'll agree they did a wonderful job.

It was the first time I'd done the recycling unit and boy do these fellas up at Glenorchy know their stuff about waste and recycling. We flew through it. The compost was a little more challenging, partly due to the activity of making a mini compost in a milk bottle. Not that that is hard, but even with a small group it gets quite entertaining. As always the students got it and made some fantastic worm farms!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Central Otago Edible Garden Workshop

Edible gardens are on the tip of everyones tongues in EfS world at the moment.....mostly becasue growing your own food is not only fun but one of the easiest ways to help reduce our carbon footprint. The food we buy, especially here in Central has to come a very long way to get to us and as such has pretty high food miles associated with it.

This workshop was organised by Kathy Hamilton (Healthy Eating Coordinator from Healthy Eating Healthy Action), Jo Arthur (Health Promotion Coordinator from the Heart Foundation) and Tania McLean (EfS Advisor for Otago & Southland). They certainly pulled the stops out to make this event happen, the turnout was amazing, about 40 people came to learn about edible gardening in schools.

The day was split into activites for all of us together, such as Jo's fabulous cooking demo, and break out groups. I lead the compost break out group so am not too sure what went on in the planting, using your produce & curriculum links groups. what I do know is that everyone was full of energy and ideas during the day.....It's so good to see teachers getting so excited about such important projects.

With all of the learning done we headed over to Central Wormworx to see how commercial worm farming is done. Thanks Robbie, the perfect end to a fantastic day!