Hunua School kids ditch the plastic
Hunua could soon be plastic bagfree thanks to children from Hunua School.
Year 4 and 5 children from the school’s room two class started a project after they were learning about plastics and what damage they were doing to the environment.
The environmentally conscious children, along side their parents, formed the Hunua School Re-usable Bag Initiative and began thinking of ways in which they could reduce plastic usage in the environment.
‘‘It became quite clear that it is really about changing habits, shopping habits,’’ said parent Angela Storey.
‘‘We thought, perhaps we could do something like provide the community with a re-usable bag and the children can design it themselves.’’
The children from room two were separated into eight groups of four and were tasked with designing bags, writing speeches and crafting letters to send to members of the community to help persuade people to stop using plastic bags.
A meeting was then set up where local business owner owner Raj Charan, the chair of the school’s board of trustees, and the head of the PTA were invited to attend.
‘‘The kids used what they had learned in their research to be influential and convince all the sort of stake holders,’’ said Storey.
The board of trustees approved the kids’ proposal to spend $2000 on producing the eco-friendly, recyclable bags and Charan, who owns the Hunua general Store, promised to purchase the school’s bags and stopped buying plastic bags the very next day.
‘‘I have been plastic bag-free since the first of October,’’ said Charan.
‘‘We were initiated by the Hunua School kids, writing us letters about the detrimental affects of it to the environment ... we have been know as a store for excellence in retail trade and we wanted to be a model store and we wanted to show that, as a business, we care for the environment.’’
The bags will be sold at a flat rate of $4 each or three for $10 at the Hunua General Store. The children also showcased their bags during the school’s ag day which on the weekend where they sold 250 bags.
Although the school never intended to raise funds from the project, the bags have been priced to ‘‘generate some profit’’, which will be donated back to the school PTA for future projects. ‘‘The thing that I love about this, is it demonstrates for the children what real community leadership is all about, it is really rewarding to see that they can see a living example of creating change.