Cleaning drains

Over the last couple of weeks, Team Green has been cleaning out the drains in the North Block of our school. 

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The amount of rubbish we found in the drains was frankly disgraceful. In just one drain we found 167 pieces of rubbish, some of which could be reused.  For instance, we found two scissors and two spoons, both in good condition. 

Our school community needs to reduce our waste. 

In order to protect our waterways, we placed two layers of mesh netting in the drains. This will prevent the rubbish from getting caught in our drains and creating more environmental damage. 

Our school’s goal should be to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. We can substitute our single-use plastic for more environmentally friendly options. As you can see in the picture above, several plastic straws and plastic packaging are displayed. Alternatively, we can replace these things with reusable items such as metal straws, beeswax wraps and keep cups to make our school grounds more environmentally friendly. 

Each individual can make changes to create a greener future. Every small change makes a big difference: replacing plastic bags with reusable ones, recycling what can be recycled, picking up litter, etc…

Litter for ONE day!!

Litter harvested on our school grounds in just ONE day!!


ONE Summit Team Green events

On Wednesday, Ben, Lulu and Lena participated in the Sustainable Development Goals information and workshop morning.IMG_20191030_123233.jpg

We heard about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are and how they apply to Aotearoa. Here is a cool little video about them and there are plenty more on the Global Goals Youtube Channel.

The morning started with a presentation of the UN 17 Goals.

Then Sam Judd, co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines, talked about their action for water and land around New Zealand. He told a very compelling story about what he found in drains! p7177769-ret-1060x706

The No Waste Nomads, Liam and Hannah, discussed  how they live happily without generating any rubbish at all! And the many ways we can reduce the rubbish we create.

Then there were two workshops where we were asked to draw Wanaka as it would look like in 2050 when we will be following the 17 Sustainable Development goals. Lots of solar panels, buses, bikes and parks!

Then we were tasked to choose two goals and look for solutions to solve them both at the same time. This was difficult!  The goals we choose were Climate change (Goal 13)  and Life under water (Goal 14). Solutions included:

  • putting filters/meshes on the drains so that rubbish doesn’t go in lakes, rivers and oceans
  • Harvesting plastic from oceans – and do new things with the harvested plastic
  • Stopping to make and use plastic
  • recycling all plastics

The hardest was maybe to collaborate which is goal “17 PARTNERSHIP”!

We then wrote our pledge on the pledge banter which is: IMG_20191030_123505

So we have emailed Sam from Sustainable Coastline to ask for help to do that.

Overall a very interesting and inspiring morning.

Thank you ONE NEW ZEALAND for putting together this big event and inviting us. 1334587-1626-34

Brebner Bay Outlet

Last visit of the year to “our adopted outlet” as part as the Touchstone programme

We discuss that this drain is the stormwater runoff for a vast area, including zones currently in construction. We watch the drain water and observe how it contains silt that deposit in the bay. It also carries patches of white foam that will not disappear, a sign of detergent discharges.

And right in front of the drain, kids are having a bath. We also see dogs wandering, likely depositing dog poo near the water, hence fecal bacteria in the water.

What could we do to improve the situation?

We observe there is quite a large area around the drain. So instead of bringing all this runoff  water directly into the lake, the pipe could pour into a wetland that would naturally clean the water before it reaches the lake. Designing this wetland area will be our project for next year.