What do you do with a broken brolly? Bin it?
Wrong, said Stella Lee, local waste minimisation champion, as she showed teachers and students gathered at the Waste Expert Expo for schools held recently at Howick Primary.
More than 27 schools present that morning had an opportunity to listen to experts in the field that demonstrated innovative ways of waste minimisation.
“You can reuse the waterproof fabric to make a shopping bag or a raincoat. Sell the frame as scrap metal or use it as a clothes hanger instead of it going to the landfill,” she said.
Like Stella, there were other zealous eco-warriors inspiring schools towards waste minimisation.
The length that local Enviro schools are going to minimise waste was an eye-opener and encouraging.
From teaching children with well-designed games to how an apple travels from an orchard to the supermarket before it lands in their lunch box. Toby Falconer from The Open Fort told of the money, time, energy and people involved prior to them biting into an apple and throwing it away.
John Willoughby from ECP Compostables showed off a range of plastic-free, innovative compostable solutions along with bin systems.
“Our compostable film products are made from corn starch and are available in local supermarkets,” he said.
Cate Jessep, Sustainable Schools Advisor, Auckland Council, said 17 schools which attended the Waste Expert Expo last year had succeeded in reducing waste by 40 per cent or more.
“The idea is to make schools zero waste.”
Giving due credit to Howick Local Board chair Adele White, Jessep said the funding that the local board gives allows them to exponentially reduce waste.
Environment-friendly kindergartens to primary, intermediate and secondary school teachers and students working hard to improve the future of the planet, listened to educational and environmental specialist Nigel Zhang who encouraged everyone to “treat your carbon footprint like your bank account-exactly how you would treat your money, very carefully”.
Lorelle Stranaghan, coordinator Howick Wards School Waste Minimisation Project, said our future is in good hands with 34 schools from the Howick ward committed to 2020-2021 waste minimisation.