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Green Team group picture

Year 8 Green Team Students Present to Aftercare Program

On Monday 14 October during the Green Earth Week at Tintern Grammar, Natasha and I went and talked to the Junior School’s AfterCare program on behalf of the Green Team. We talked about sustainability to expand the students’ knowledge on this topic. The reason for the talk with these younger students was to make them more aware of and prepared for what our world is and might become if we do not take care of it properly.

In our speech we talked about the 5 Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Re-think, Reuse, Recycle) and what waste should go in which bin to ensure that we are not putting all our waste into landfill if it can be recycled. This part of the discussion was mainly about the plastic in our world, how it is affecting our ecosystem and what we can use instead, such as, bamboo toothbrushes or mesh bags for shopping.

In addition to talking about recycling, we talked about water wastage, preserving energy and composting. These are things that even the younger children can engage with – turning taps off, turning lights off when you leave a room and putting food scraps into compost bins or work farms. We were very pleased to hear that some of the little ones had compost bins or worm farms at home.

An important message we hope the students took home was that it takes more than one person to make a difference to change the world but, if we all do small things every day, then these small acts will add up to making a difference. It was really great to see the students listening intently to our talk and sharing their ideas on what we can all do to look after our planet.

By Kiara, Year 8

Years 7 and 8 Green Team Members Visit Replas Environmental Centre in Earth Week

Have you ever stopped to wonder about how much of your plastic waste actually gets recycled each year in Australia? It is only 12 per cent!

On 16 October, as a part of Tintern Grammar’s ‘Green Earth Week’, the Years 7 and 8 Green Team students were given the opportunity to further extend their knowledge of the impacts of our waste by visiting the Replas Recycled Plastic Products Centre in Carrum Downs.

The prospect of the effects of climate change not being addressed by world leaders has driven others to take the initiative and strive for a healthier and safer planet. This was the mindset which the Years 7 and 8 Green Team students set out with on this excursion.

We toured Replas with our guide Christie, who enlightened us with an introduction to the different types of plastic waste and how to identify them, as well as how Replas is driven to repurpose them into benches and other useful structures.

We toured different stations of the complex, learning about the detrimental impacts of plastic and how we can better dispose of it. One particular station that stood out was the ‘bag cave’. This room featured thousands of plastic bags strung up and a screen depicting sea life. This was aimed to represent the impacts of plastic on ocean life and served as one of the most influential ways to portray the message.

Another important aspect that we took away from this excursion was the suggested solution of the ‘Circular Economy’, an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources, as opposed to the current linear economy which follows a basic ‘take, use and lose’ cycle.

Replas is Australia’s leading mixed recycled plastic manufacturer and it produces a range of 200 recycled products in Australia. We were extremely pleased to find that our school has purchased some of Repla’s products; two park benches made out of the type of soft plastics which we collect at school and, therefore, save from landfill. During the process, the plastic is broken down into minuscule, compacted pieces. These pieces are then melted and poured into moulds to create the long-lasting structures that are low maintenance and an ethical alternative to other less sustainably produced goods.

This was an amazing opportunity and thank you to Replas and Tintern for making it possible.

By Natasha and Ella, Year 8