Susan Skinner, Sustainability Coordinator
Well done everyone for your participation in 2018 Green Week. Our focus has been to Beat Plastic Pollution.
A key event was The Big Clean Up, which we registered for World Environment Day. Junior School students collected litter within the school grounds; Middle and Senior Students collected litter along the streets outside our school. We picked up a lot of litter! The MSS students collected more than 30kg, which included many plastic bags, plastic bottles, food containers - and 247 pieces of plastic cable used for grass cutting! That’s a lot of rubbish that is no longer polluting our environment and posing a threat to local ecosystems. Well done everyone!
Throughout the school, homerooms developed a class pledge for Green Week, choosing to do something positive for the environment. Many classes decided to give up single use plastic; some classes decided to use less energy; and one class decided to limit their showers to save water!
Click here to view: Middle and Senior School Class Pledges
Throughout the week, teachers incorporated sustainability into
Maths students crunched the data from The Big Clean Up (What percentage of the litter was plastic?); Science students investigated sustainable alternatives to non-degradable single-use plastics (Can we make edible cutlery? Can we make a water bottle from corn starch?); Language students developed posters in their chosen language to promote the ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ (Dit non aux plastiques).
Students were able to try hands-on activities at lunchtime, for example growing salad sprouts in egg pots or helping to take cuttings of plants to grow new plants for the new carpark. A group of students also learned how to make beeswax wraps which can be used for covering and wrapping food instead of plastic cling wrap. The JS Sustainability Committee offered their beeswax wraps for sale.
We displayed some alternatives to single use plastic in our Market Stalls on Tuesday and Friday - items such as metal and bamboo straws, bamboo toothbrushes, beeswax wraps, and disposable plates made from dried palm leaf that turn into compost when you are finished with them. (Interestingly, the plates are made by a family business here in Kuala Lumpur called Fallaleaf and sold around the world).
Carolyn Lau from Tak Nak Straws was a special guest for Year 7 Science classes - she explained why we don't need plastic straws and taught us how to make paper straws coated in beeswax. It’s so easy we could make them for our cafe and not have plastic straws at all.
We had a wonderful debate between students and teachers about whether humanity needs single use plastic. The audience was able to hear good arguments from both sides before the teachers finally won the debate. For many people this was also a chance to see our champion Year 8 debaters, Ashlyn Shazli, Anna Huggel and Nichole Ong, in action.
We also heard very interesting presentations from students who are involved in projects outside of school that are helping preserve our environment. Anna Huggel gave un update about how she helps with turtles conservation on Perhentian Island, Kiesha Venga spoke about her commitment to preserve sharks, and Anna Huggel and Cahaya Thomas talked about their work as Wildlife Warriors at Sunway Lagoon.
Our canteen and cafeteria tried very hard to reduce the amount of plastic they used or gave out during Green Week - switching to wood, paper or metal alternatives.
Junior School students also took part in No Wrap Wednesday and were invited to watch the movie A Plastic Ocean at lunchtime.
During lunch and after school, our team of Green Ninja’s checked every classroom in the MSS to see whether the lights, AC or projector had been left on, and recorded this with orange and green dots on the door.
We also held daily quizzes and two competitions for students to enter, to help promote awareness of about plastic pollution. The joint winners of the competition to design a poster, video, animation, etc in the MSS were Mia Tan and Yuin Yie Wong. And the joint winners of the competition for the most innovative design made from recycled plastic were Laci Williams and Joe Chuen. The winners in the Junior School will be announced at JS Assembly next week so have not been listed here.
None of this would have been possible without the commitment of our Junior School Sustainability Committee and the Middle Senior School Green Team. Thank you all, and also to our Student Representative Council for promoting the Beat Plastic campaign in your classes.
Thank you also to the Parents Association for donating the prizes for our Green Week competitions. Thank you to parents Lisa Kerr (wax wrap workshop), Laurent Epetahui (seedlings workshop), Rebecca Mak (demonstrating ways to upcycle plastic), Wai Mun Poon (stall), and Kim Ritchie (shopping for materials).
Thank you also to our teachers, marketing and support staff.
Thank you everyone for your participation in 2018 Green Week. Please keep up your commitment to say no to single use plastic!