End of a successful Year!

Fundraisers & Christmas gifts

We are selling Plants, currently for sale in the teachers’s yard: Spider plants, Aloe Vera $5 each
2019 Upper Clutha Calendars $20 each: Team Green receives $3 for each calendar sold, available in the staff room.

End of Year “do” in the Park

Enjoying cake and fair trade chocolate in the tall grass in Lismore Park, we discussed what went well this year and what we want to do next year. We are quite proud of our achievements this year:

  • three worms farms,
  • a fun scavenger hunt,
  • a school wide tree planting event…

Next year, we plan to:

  • repeat our recycle-well campaign
  • organise food waste management better
  • work on energy savings, divest our school from coal, more solar panels (needs lots of money for that!)
  • So fundraising will continue with fair trade bake sales and plant sales -as above!
  • We are chuffed to be invited by the architects to contribute to the new buildings concepts

It would be great if senior students would join us, we could then have several projects going.

Tree planting Photos

Thank you for a wonderful Tree Planting effort, 52 trees given a chance to strive in 30 minutes! Please note the love and care that was given in the action! Well done MAC! Long live Herbet and mates! 😉 Keep sending photos to teamgreen@mtaspiring.school.nz so they are added to the slideshow here.

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Thank you to Ziptrek, the sponsor of our trees!

Last day of Term 3

Today we celebrated our term achievement with fair trade chocolate and cake!

Then we visited our food waste binWormss and worms. As we haven’t been able to present the system in assembly yet, the bins haven’t been used much and contain far too much orange peels. First thing next term is to explain everyone how to use them properly.

We fed the worms with what was in the bins. The worms looked good.

tree plantingThanks to our recycling of paper and cardboard, we have earned 39 native trees via the Paper4Trees scheme, up from 32 the previous year. We’ll plant them on the school ground during long whanau early next term.

More trees, less landfill! Well done everyone! Keep up the good work!


Someone’s sitting in the shade today because they planted a tree a long time ago.
~ Warren Buffet

Recycle your Food Waste!

There are now 3 RED Wheelie bins for food waste.  They are located together with a waste and recycling bin in the quad near the library, up the junior block, and near the play area.


Please put all food leftovers in the RED wheelie bin but no wrapper, and no citrus.

Food waste

We have installed worms farms. We will feed the worms. Please do not disturb the worms so leave the white buckets closed.

2017 Recycling

Here is the Cardboard and Paper recycling data for 2017:
We recycled 30 fadges of cardboard and 56 wheelie bins of paper.
In the Paper For Trees calculation, it translates as follows:
We earned 32 the previous year so that’s 2 trees more! Well done everyone for your recycling efforts.
A quick look at the skip shows that we can recycle more. Please be mindful when you discard paper or cardboard to put it in the correct recycling bin.
Last year, we decided to carry over 16 trees earned in 2016 to add to 2017 trees to organise a school wide event – we have 44 whanau so we need at least 44 trees.

We now have 48 trees to plant!

So we’ll organise a tree planting day during long whanau later in the year.

Green Week at MAC


Monday and Tuesday lunchtime in the North Block:
Bag It movie: a fun and interesting documentary on what’s the problem with plastic and how to get rid of it. Come along with your lunch and enjoy!
Fair Trade Bake Sale lunchtime in the quad 
Team Green Scavenger hunt in long whanau: all students are invited to participate in this fast and fun event and it earns house points!

Recycling bins upgraded

In term 1, Team Green sent a survey to all teachers to collect paper bins and recycling bins needs in each classroom. And we went around school to count the existent bins. We calculate that we needed 13 more paper bins and 4 recycling bins.

Paper4Trees kindly supplied the crates so today we delivered them. A nice way to finish a task and a term.

Well done Team! And Thank you to Paper4Trees!

Next term, we’ll set up our food waste and worm farm system. Exciting!
Have a well-deserved break.

Collecting food waste to make compost

During the Climate Friendly School workshop, Team Green students decided to focus on collecting food waste and establishing a compost in term 2.

We invited Wastebusters Dr Compost to explain about compost and for some guidance on how to start: a food waste audit. We decide to collect the food waste from two classes for two weeks. It is probably not enough but we are a small group and only have 45 minutes per week!

Week One: We designed a poster, contacted teachers in charge, and sourced bins. We choose a Year 7 and a year 8 class.

Food waste bin poster

Week Two: we installed the bins in the two rooms with the posters on them and talked to the teachers -who had both agreed- so that they promote their use to their students. We created a system and a roster to go and empty the bins.

Week Three: No one had emptied to bins! So we go and do this together, it is quite hard work, smelly! And cleaning the bins is also a messy business.

Week-Four: We go again to empty the bins and weigh the result:

7.5kg of food waste collected in 2 weeks from 2 classes

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  • There were no wrappers in them. That’s very good. Only one paper napkin found in 2 weeks.
  • There is lots of citrus and bread
  • There are many fruit stickers. And we know they do not compost.
  • There is less food waste the second week than the first. Did people forget? Is it too difficult to  open the lid?
  • It is difficult to wash the bins. We need a brush. And a place to empty the water with food leftovers in it. People will wash their own bins so we need to make it easy.
  • A teacher comments the bin were too big for her class. So we put it out. Will we have a bucket -with lid- per class or a central bigger bin?






During a meeting with Green Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, Ralph Adler and Zella Dowling, Mount Aspiring College students have been learning about and exploring how MAC could be come a climate friendly college.



What is MAC already doing? What can we do better?

Saving energy

Team Green has done in the past and can resume the Switch off campaign (Make it flick stickers and posters) and the monthly Earth Hour (Period 6 Last Friday of each month).

To go further… do we actually need to turn on again after? Do we need it? This is a key phrase, in general!

At MAC, the biggest energy problem for the environment is our coal plant. We could lobby to get it changed. Write a letter to Board of Trustees, Mr Bosley, Architects, Ministry for the Environment.

And we have 8 solar panels. We want more! Continue fundraising. Ask in the letter.


Make a transport survey. Is it cool to bike? Is it cool to walk? The reward is in itself, health, cool… A hand survey in the year 9 group showed that many students already walk, bike or take the bus to school. Surely more can be done.

For the school’s trip, asking for electric vehicles. Our vehicles are second hand after local ski resorts. Asking them for electric vehicles!


Encourage compartment lunchboxes, more sandwich wraps, these are opportunities for fundraisers. Resume the bring your cup deal at the canteen. https://macteamgreen.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/canteen-deal/


Team Green has installed paper recycling and recycling in the college, because it diverts lots from landfill (cheaper), because we earn trees from paper and cardboard recycling via Paper4Trees.

We yearly check it is functioning and campaign for its good use.

Improvement: Explain why? “Do I need it” campaign? Encourage electronics use. Good on one side bins. Double-sided printing by default.

“Think before you print sticker” to add at the bottom of emails

Canteen: Do they have leftovers?

School compost, also from lawn clipping.

Measure How important How much $$ How Easy Action
Lights Less important because 80% of energy is renewable Save $$ Easy Switch campaign, switch stickers
Travel to School It would be important but a lot of people already bike so maybe quite good Nothing to school – Save money for families Each individual decision – lots of communication Survey

Calculate how much petrol this uses

Find out who else has done survey already

Travel by School Quite important Will become cheaper but big initial cost Not easy Petition to Cardrona and Treble Cone so they have electric buses

(Also ask for gondola for climate change)

Coal burner Very Important Big Letter to BOT to ask for renewables energy and better insulation
Heat Pumps Less important because 80% of energy is renewable Saves money Easy Switch campaign, switch stickers



Food wrappers

Quite important Not much money Not easy!

Showing them


We want compost and garden: lawn clippings, leaves, food scraps, canteen waste, food tech waste, a bit of wood ashes

Present Team Green members vote to focus on collecting food waste to a compost and perhaps make a garden for food for the canteen. We need to get the caretaker and canteen support.

To avoid having much work with the garden, we can still do compost and sell it (fundraiser!). In Dunedin, a school has a matching system who wants it who doesn’t want it.

So working on collecting food waste and establishing a compost will be Team Green focus in term 2.

Jeanette's board

Jeanette Fitzsimons at MAC

Ex-Green party co-leader, Mrs Fitzsimons came to Wanaka to talk about phasing out coal and oil during Aspiring Conversations. To make her travel worthwhile, she offered to meet students to take her important message further.

Organised by the college Academic committee, Year 9 students met 4 experts on Energy, Transport, Food and Waste, the four key contributors to climate change.

We are already in climate change, Jeanette says. Since 1992, conferences have happened to try and fix the climate, but regularly fail to set timeframes, targets and finances to make a difference. People wait for governments to acts but governments need people’s mandate to act! People can do small changes at their levels, but for a significant shift, middle level action is best. That is community groups, schools, businesses…

Working together is most effective. Our school can create a climate action plan, starting where emissions come from, mostly:

Energy – Transport- Food – Waste

Energy problems: coal burner -BIG contributor, electricity in NZ 20% is not renewable. Can do better with solar and wood.

Transport: Coming to school and school trips are to be treated separately.

Food: Where it comes from, how it is packaged. Where it is disposed? If we have much food waste in our lunchbox, maybe we need less food. Ask yourself Do I need it?

Waste: Jo from Wastebusters has noticed there is a LOT of paper in our recycling. Is it because we work really hard?! Or because we print before we thinK?

Year 9 students then spread in 4 groups to deepen their issue of interest and bounce ideas. Approx 40 students were interested in energy issues, 30 in food, 12 in waste and 8 in transport. 

Sustainability at MAC: 12 years ago

In 2006 at MAC, a “Sustainability theme week” was organised for all Year 7 to 11. A range of activities was offered for students to choose from. Here is the 2006 MAC Newsletter reporting on Sustainable Week.


There were lots of hands on workshops including: Flax weaving, Knitting and Recycled card making;

There was a visit to Wastebusters, followed by a college Waste Audit;

A visit to the local Biodynamic winery Rippon was followed by creating a Worm farm for our staff room;

A bus was organised to a local conservation area to explore Plants and Biodiversity, learn about pests of the area, with a bush walk in the afternoon. Followed by a day to identify and count plants around the school, label them, plant some Olearia hectorii;

A House tour was organised to look at local eco houses and discuss energy conservation, then students looked at the energy consumption of the school and make signs to make people aware to conserve energy;

There was a Talk on Marine Reserves followed by a fishing outing;

There was an Intro to alternative fuel, showing of the Cool Fuel Video, demonstration of a Hybrid car and making biodiesel;

Student could choose to cook with local and “sustainable” ingredient, and calculate food kilometers;

There was a Debate on the environmental issues in our area;

There was video making, a children’s book made with amazing art, lots of posters…

The last day was a celebration and showcase of posters, an eco-living funny play, a recycled orchestra concert, a wearable art fashion show…

Everyone had great fun and talked about it years later!