The Endeavour Platoon from Raumati South School decided to complete a Nude Food project which would have an effect on the behaviour of our families outside of school. The Student Volunteer Army project fitted well into our classroom programme and our environmental focus.
We first surveyed the class over a week…. Each group taking a tally of the amount on non compostable rubbish that they had in their lunchboxes. We then brainstormed ways to reduce our food rubbish. For a further two weeks we kept a tally each day and the groups encouraged each other to come with a zero waste lunch. It became quite competitive!
We evaluated the results and found that we had significantly reduced our rubbish but the best effect was that our parents were making different choices in the supermarket e.g. buying large quantities of an item and then repackaging these into reusable containers for school snacks.
We looked at the gains in buying large packets of chips, for example; both the financial gains and the greater number of chips in a pack. Many parents have shifted from using gladwrap to either washable reusable containers or compostable paper wraps.
As we had had such a significant reduction in waste we decided to share our knowledge with the Yr 5/6 syndicate.
Teams from our class visited each of the four Yr5/6 classes and asked them to participate in the survey and they gathered data from them daily for a week. Then they talked to the classes and shared with them statistics which they had created showing the amount of rubbish produced on an annual basis from some common lunchtime foods eg noodles. They then repeated the survey.
Unfortunately the results were not very different. There were not many gains made which we put down to the fact that this was not emphasized in their classroom programme and there was no incentive for them to reduce rubbish.
Our class had completed a zero waste programme and were very clear on the environmental need for change. They had not been able to convey this effectively to the older students.
We have continued to look at our rubbish output sporadically which keeps students thinking about the issue.