Time seems to pass so quickly and in 14 or so years, the children who share our kindergarten environment with us now will be celebrating the start their adult years, adventuring out into the wider world.
The question we need to ask is what world do we see our children living in? Will New Zealand be ‘Clean and Green’?
As a teaching team we encourage and support our tamariki in recycling, reducing and reusing and rethinking what happens to the waste we make.
Our commitment to Enviroschools and our desire to leave future generations a New Zealand that truely is ‘Clean and Green’ means we have started discussing the importance of not just recycling our waste but reducing the waste footprint that our kindergarten makes.
(Images courtesy of Greenpeace)
Our whānau have been supportive of bringing in their plastic shopping bags so we can reuse them for wet or dirty clothes and we want to thank them for their support in enabling us to reuse this product.
But if we are truely going to embrace the notion of reducing waste then we need to rethink our use of plastic bags.
New Zealand churns through about 1.6 billion lightweight plastic bags each year and while the new soft plastic bins in your local supermarkets will help reduce this waste making its ways to our oceans and our native bush, and in turn our food chain, not having the waste to dispose of at all is a better option for our earth and the creatures that live on it.
“As much as we would like them to, they do not ‘go away’ just because we send them to the landfill – ever. There really is no ‘away’. Plastic bags break into problematic micro particles where they fly around in the air and get into water sources, making it easier for them to enter the food chain. If they are buried for a long time, research is starting to reveal that they eventually degrade into toxic leachates, which have the potential to leach into the soil and water table and our food chain”.
Dr Trisia Farrelly, environmental anthropologist and lecturer in Sociocultural Anthropology, Massey University
So we have decided to join our major supermarket chains and work towards being plastic bag free by 2018. Instead children/whānau will have the option of a waterproof reusable cotton bags which they can purchase for a small amount.
Once named, the reusable bag can stay in their kindergarten bags for wet and dirty clothes.
Join us in going plastic bag free and making a change to the future of our children and the place they call home.