Bot­tling en­ergy brings pure joy

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Stu­dents at Pu­taruru Pri­mary know the en­vi­ron­ment is pay­ing a hefty price for dis­carded plas­tic bot­tles.

A sin­gle plas­tic bot­tle can take up to 1000 years to prop­erly break down and of the mil­lion used world­wide ev­ery day only one in five are ever re­cy­cled.

To help com­bat the dilemma the stu­dents, from years three to six, are build­ing their very own green­house out of them.

In­side they plan to grow veg­eta­bles from seed which will then be trans­ferred into the school’s veg­etable gar­dens and har­vested to feed stu­dents dur­ing school camps or sold for school fundrais­ers.

Teacher Jan Duthie said it all came about through the school’s weekly green-day ses­sions where stu­dents turned rub­bish into art.

‘‘It is about teach­ing kids about things they can re­use in­stead of just chuck­ing them out,’’ she said.

‘‘We looked up things we could do, as I hate waste, and that is when we started get­ting the group to­gether to build the green­house.’’

‘‘We have En­vi­roschools time now and it’s teach­ing the kids about sus­tain­abil­ity and about the things they can do in so­ci­ety, not just in school.’’

Stu­dent Wil­liam Pe­riam said they are still in need of more bot­tles to com­plete the project.

‘‘We are close to 1000 and we need 1500 for the en­tire thing,’’ he said.

‘‘The bot­tles mean the sun can still go through them and they hold the heat. It is just fun to do it be­cause you learn about plants and about not wast­ing things.’’

Fel­low stu­dent Wil­low Ben­nett said it’s also en­cour­ag­ing them to com­bat lit­ter­ing.

‘‘I saw some­one chuck a bot­tle on the ground so I took it to school so we could use it,’’ she said.

Duthie said al­though she over­sees ev­ery­thing and par­ents have come in to build the more tricky parts of the struc­ture, the stu­dents have done most of the work them­selves.

‘‘They make the walls and know how many bot­tles are needed on each bam­boo stick. I could set them up out here now and they could do it all them­selves with­out me be­ing here. They have re­ally come on board,’’ she said.

‘‘I like to bring things in and out of the class­room be­cause for me it has got to be ex­cit­ing. If I am get­ting bored they they are go­ing to be so this lets us mix it up.’’

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