Teacher tack­ling lit­ter bugs early

School takes up the chal­lenge to pro­tect en­vi­ron­ment

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TIRED of see­ing our beau­ti­ful town marred by piles of lit­ter, a Bund­aberg teacher has de­cided to tackle the prob­lem head on.

Tr­ish Gar­rard has be­come a Lit­ter Am­bas­sador for the Bin It – You Know It’s Right! ini­tia­tive, which aims to stamp out lit­ter bugs.

The St Joseph’s Catholic Pri­mary School teacher said chil­dren could be in­flu­enced to take pos­i­tive ac­tion.

“At school we en­cour­age stu­dents to think about food pack­ag­ing and the amount of rub­bish cre­ated just in one lunchtime at school,” she said.

Each year stu­dents au­dit one bin af­ter lunch.

“The stu­dents sep­a­rate the rub­bish into cat­e­gories and are al­ways amazed at how much food wrap­pers and empty drink con­tain­ers con­trib­ute to land­fill.”

Year 4 stu­dent Hamish Haase com­pleted the au­dit with his class­mates and said he no­ticed lit­ter along the road­side on his daily com­mute to school.

“I don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple would throw rub­bish out their car win­dow or leave it be­hind when they have a pic­nic at the beach,” he said.

“When I have a snack in the car I just wrap up what’s left and keep it next to me un­til we get to a bin. It just isn’t a prob­lem.”

Hamish said he was aware how lit­ter could travel through the land­scape and its im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Lit­ter looks messy and can choke or en­tan­gle an­i­mals,” he said.

“Some lit­ter, like bro­ken bot­tles, can even dam­age cars or in­jure peo­ple, and it’s hard to clean up.”

Mrs Gar­rad said in­volve­ment in the Reef Guardian Schools pro­gram had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on young peo­ple as they made the con­nec­tion between food pack­ag­ing and reef health.

“Lit­ter moves through our wa­ter­ways and drainage sys­tems and even­tu­ally it is de­posited into the ocean where it can have cat­a­strophic im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment and marine life, such as tur­tles,” she said.

“At school we have a gar­den where we grow veg­gies that are used in the tuck­shop and we have ‘munch and crunch’ time at first break where the stu­dents are en­cour­aged to eat fruit and veg­eta­bles that are brought to school with no wrap­pers.

“The stu­dents col­lect or­ganic waste at lunchtime for our com­post and learn the im­por­tance of re­duc­ing the amount of rub­bish that leaves the school each week.

“Take­away foods from towns and road­houses are so con­ve­nient when trav­el­ling by car how­ever the as­so­ci­ated pack­ag­ing has no place on the road­side.

“If foods are con­sumed while driv­ing along, sim­ply bun­dle up the rub­bish and keep it in the car un­til you reach home or the next con­ve­nient place to dis­pose of it cor­rectly. It doesn’t take much to plan ahead to make sure you Bin It!”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.binit.org.au

We en­cour­age stu­dents to think about food pack­ag­ing and the amount of rub­bish cre­ated just in one lunchtime at

— Tr­ish Gar­rard

PHOTO: NATHAN BEN­JAMIN

BAN LIT­TER: Year 4 stu­dent Hamish Haase and teacher Tr­ish Gar­rad take lit­ter se­ri­ously at their school.

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