Thursday, 28 November 2013

Waste Audit at Springston 2013

Today we did a waste audit.

That is where you collect rubbish from the whole school for a whole day.  We ended up with heaps of named bags sitting in our classroom ready for sorting.  We wondered what we would find!

Toni from Enviro - Schools came we went into Room 7 and put a tarpaulin on the ground to protect the floor. We tipped all the rubbish from the bags on it.  There was heaps and it was yucky!

Next we sorted the rubbish into separate bins.  They included waste metal, paper, waste food and plastic.

We discovered that:

Our teachers are making coffee using posts that can't be re-cycled but there are not many if you count up all the pods and share them amongst all the teachers - or are there? 
If this was 10 pods used in one day, how many would they use in a week?  
If there are about 38 weeks in the school year and the staff used 50 pods a week, they would use 1,930 pods in a year!

Check out our lunch rubbish.  Lots of the lunch rubbish comes from... chewing gum wrappers (oops!), chips, 2 minute noodles, pop corn and cracker things.  Our lunches are full of packaged and processed food that has LOTS of wrapping!

This huge amount of wrapping can be seen on our chart.  There is a total of 55 pieces of plastic wrap and 129 other items with non-recylcable wrap.  This was not all the rubbish from every lunchbox so imagine what the total from every Springston Kid would be!  We could encourage kids to have nude food days and possibly use some of the rubbish for making rubbish art and sculptures.

Another thing we discovered was.... we are making lots of food rubbish that could be used by putting it in the worm farms or composting for the Secret Garden.  Worm pee is a great food for growing plants and compost keeps our garden happy!
We would need to get people as monitors to make this happen at our school.

We entered the information onto the website and they showed us our graph.
It says we...

Next year we are going to start helping Springston School:

1.  Make less rubbish for the landfill by:
  • having some 'Nude Food' days
  • looking at our packaging choices
  • setting up effective re-cycling systems 
  • separating food scraps and using them more effectively
  • make some 'rubbish' art
2.  Be better at re-cycling and re-using by:
  • feeding the worms and have the Bokashi going
  • having re-cycling bins for each class
  • joining 'Trees for paper' to help plant our school
What else do you think we could do to make Springston School better at managing our waste?  Tell us in a comment.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The ECO Team - 2013 Summary

This is the ECO Team at the end of an exciting year.  We are going to list all the things we have been involved in this year so we can remember how we have helped our school and environment.  Kids working together in a team can achieve amazing things!

(Josephine & Sam were missing.)

We have done these things.....
Built a butterfly Garden - with a bug hotel
Done the Bird Survey
Planted native trees in the Secret Garden
Waste audit in Term 4
Visited other Enviro-Schools
Planted trees at Chamberlain's Ford
Had a market to raise money
Researched the cost of our hats
Made our ECO Team hats
Made scarecrows for the Secret Garden
Built a herb spiral
Taken workshops in all the classes at school
Planned our Vision Map
Made an amazing Vision Map with Maggie's Gran
Made a school promise tree for Earth Hour
Fed the birds all winter
Did bird-watching through Room 6's window
Made a bird resource on the Enviro website
For Earth Hour  - most of us in the Enviro group turned the lights out
Helping the earth by picking up rubbish

Garden Bird Survey

Oops  - we forgot to put up a post of us gathering all the information on the Annual Garden Bird Survey.

Enviro-Schools Matt helped the ECO Team and some helpers from the Junior Classes to count every bird we saw.  We had to use binoculars but there were lots of birds in The Secret Garden!  Then we put the information on the website to be collated with all the information from around New Zealand.  We were working as a huge team.

Here are some photos of us hard at work!

Go to this link for more information about the Garden Bird Survey.  Here is a graph of the  most commonly sighted birds in 2013.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

News from the Garden - November 27th 2013

We had some keen gardeners join us today.  They are getting their new gardens ready for planting.  Reeve and Isaac even managed to plant some lettuces and tomatoes with Mum helping.

Check out how the Butterfly Garden is growing.  Search the Swan Plants for caterpillars when you come to visit.  I wonder when we will see our first butterfly hatch?

A catterpillar of a very different size has appeared in our garden.  It was on the plan but I think our 'Secret Helpers' have been hard at work!  We have to design some antennae and eyes for this amazing creature.  Do you have any ideas?