Bottling energy brings pure joy
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.’’