Posted on June 16, 2020 / Matters
Green Team Still Active Despite Social Distancing and Isolation Restrictions
Although isolation and social distancing restrictions created challenges for the Green Team, it was great to see that members managed to stay connected through two successful online meetings during the remote learning period. The first meeting was a discussion about the ways students could still work for the good of the environment whilst at home. The second meeting was a forum for discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on the environment and how this impact could shape or change the future of environmental sustainability. Jodi Evans (lecturer at Monash University, climate change activist and past student/teacher at Tintern Grammar) presented her thoughts at this forum and then led the discussion. 53 students and teachers joined the online presentation and, whilst we may not have come away with many answers, we were definitely given many ideas and concepts to think about.
Several Green Team students organised their own projects at home and in their immediate community during the remote learning period. I have received reports of students setting up soft plastics recycling and composting for their families. One student audited the amount of waste his family produces and then looked at ways of reducing this. Another student conducted a thorough ‘spring clean’ and then thoughtfully disposed of unnecessary items, working out what could be donated or recycled. Many students explored plant based cooking.
Miya Urquhart (Year 9) installed a Subpod composting system in her garden, you can view her installation video and presentation below:
Year 9 students, Meleah Byth, Zoe McKinlay, Mia Qian, Miya Urquhart and Natalie Young, organised their own Clean Up and you can view their project below:
Finally, Laura Mitcham (Year 11) explored making her own sanitised wipes. As part of the new sanitisation procedures at school, students are required to bring their own disinfectant wipes. Most of these wipes contain plastic, are non-biodegradable, cause havoc with sewerage systems and, if they make their way into the ocean, they get ingested by sea creatures, such as turtles, who mistake them for jellyfish and eventually die.
Cognisant of the negative environmental impact of wipes, Laura and her mother decided to make their own reusable version, recycling pieces of an old linen table cloth dipped in a eucalyptus solution mixed with distilled water. After experimenting with the ratios, they developed an effective solution and Laura now brings one wipe a day to school in a container and then washes it out at home.
Please watch Laura’s DIY video on how to make these simple wipes below:
It can be overwhelming for all of us to think about the massive environmental issues our planet is facing. The Green Team encourages us to focus on what we can do as individuals and a community. No action is too small! All successes and initiatives should be celebrated and promoted as they could very well have a ripple effect. I am very proud of the students mentioned in this report. Their actions can and will influence others. Even if only a handful of people who read this article start composting or making their own reusable handwipes, then our earth will be in a better place than before.