Tuesday, 21 January 2014

"The Story of ...."

Youtube offers some great educational videos that could be used in the classroom to lead into a topic or round one off.

Some are simply great analogies for lots of things and others may inspire action on an issue.  Click on the above links and enjoy!

Here's a few we recommend.

'The Story of Stuff' is a few years old now, but still (unfortunately) so relevant.  The original Story of Stuff came in about 6 short Youtube clips but now it can be seen as one - break it into parts if you want to spread it over a few lessons.

So heres the original Story of Stuff:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM&list=PLV_L5nW0JBb5nDWGlyIUoQuYyHFOC-0YE&feature=c4-overview-vl 

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever. http://storyofstuff.org

Sometimes learning about the issue can be demoralising for all of us.  It's important to reflection on what it means for us, how we overcome guilt, how we can make a difference (no matter how small) and to feel good about that!

The Story of Change and the Story of Solutions are great ones to follow on with.  They help to put things in perspective and show that there is an alternative to the current situation. 
Story of Change - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIQdYXCKUv0  Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

Story of Solutions - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpkRvc-sOKk  The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal.

In the current 'Game of More', we're told to cheer a growing economy -- more roads, more malls, more Stuff! -- even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting.

But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn't more, but better -- better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet?

Shouldn't that be what winning means?

Here are a couple more clips from The Story of Stuff Project:

The Story of Bottled Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zn0qi80IIY&list=PLV_L5nW0JBb5nDWGlyIUoQuYyHFOC-0YE  The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

A student from the Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology CPIT has taken on the bottled water issue.  First within CPIT and then nationally.  Here's a link to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BottleFreeCpit 
It's a great example of a student taking an issue and taking action on it.  Part of the campaign was towards his course work for the Sustainability and Outdoor Leadership Degree.
Here's the trailer for a doco Taped https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72MCumz5lq4  The full length doco is on Vimeo and you can find the link on the Bottle Free CPIT facebook page.  There is no one currently focused on this issue in particular in Dunedin right now.  Do you or any of your students have the passion?

The Story of Electronics - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_7i6T_H78   The Story of Electronics,  employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution's collateral damage—25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill. Host Annie Leonard takes viewers from the mines and factories where our gadgets begin to the horrific backyard recycling shops in China where many end up. The film concludes with a call for a green 'race to the top' where designers compete to make long-lasting, toxic-free products that are fully and easily recyclable.
This can be used in an IT class or any learning area/subject where the IT industry is addressed.  This issue can be extended with the real life news piece E-waste Hell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd_ZttK3PuM for senior students.

Here are some examples of how this issue is being addressed already:

Phone Bloks is a social, collaborative initiative to design and make a phone that lasts.  https://phonebloks.com/en/goals
Fairphone is not about the phone itself. We decided to focus on phones, because they are a ubiquitous product that nearly everyone owns or uses. The Fairphone itself serves to start a conversation about opening up supply chains and a storytelling object to help consumers gain more awareness about the social and environmental impacts of the electronics they purchase. As we see it, we don’t just want consumers to buy a product – we want them to become part of a larger movement. http://vimeo.com/66409578 
The Story of Cosmetics - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfq000AF1i8 The Story of Cosmetics, released on July 21st, 2010, examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo.  The Story of Stuff Project reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives. The film concludes with a call for viewers to support legislation aimed at ensuring the safety of cosmetics and personal care products.
Remember to follow up with The Story of Solution and/or The Story of Change and allow students the time, opportunity and support to 'do something' to address the issue in their homes, school, community and/or at a wider level.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Garden Challenge example - Quarantine Island Community Garden

Christmas dish from the Quarantine Island Community Garden

Quarantine Island gained a new raised bed and a hot compost pile in the last year.  The latter was essential in establishing the former! 

The hot compost was created during a DCC funded Composting Made Easy workshop on the island.  Michelle Ritchie from Organic By Design ran the workshop for 12 participants during a monthly Open Weekend.

The photos say it all really.  The workshop covered why we need compost - a useful way to deal with food scraps as well as providing essential nutrients to the garden and therefore food we eat.  The ingredients and layering required for good quality compost and different types of compost systems.

The finished product seemed a little dry and corse but it was an essential ingredient to our new raised bed.

Below is a blurry but cool wee video of the compost showing how hot it is on a frosty morning!  Look closely and you can see the steam!

Building the raised bed garden


Again the photos say it all. Start with a thick newspaper layer (under which you may want to sprinkle Gypsum if you have clay soil), add animal manure.

 Spread on a layer of pea straw.  You could also use hay so long as it doesn't contain seed.  You can often source 'stack bottom hay' from farmers for free.
Add a layer of seaweed, then this is where your compost comes in!  Layer your homemade compost over the seaweed.

 Then add another layer of pea straw or hay.
I finished with a weed free commercial certified organic compost for two reasons.  Our compost was too corse to grow seeds in and the birds loved the homemade compost but weren't as keen to dig up the commercial stuff when it was patted flat. 
Above you can see the last three layers - homemade compost, pea straw and commercial compost.
Below is the florishing new raised bed.  I don't have photos of them but we grew the biggest broccoli heads I have ever managed to grow.  I did feed them lots of liquid comfrey and seaweed compost too.

Keen to set an example for the Enviroschools Garden Challenge I decided to document what I grew, harvested and consumed from the garden for the festive season.

 The broad beans did really well thanks to some volunteers who planted them during an Open Weekend over the winter!

So we had a go at a Broad Bean Dip.  I'd consumed a delicious broad bean dip at my cousins place one Christmas and decided this would be very fitting for the dinner table.

Let's just say that the process of shelling, boiling and shelling again was a good lesson in patience, but the end product was worth it.
Delicious!  We also used garlic and mint from the garden but there were a few ingredients that we didn't grow ourselves.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Primary Enviroschools Hui, Aramoana

This year’s Primary Enviroschools Hui in Dunedin saw over 80 people, from 14 schools checking out what lives in the sandy/muddy marine environment, planting native trees and getting a great look at a magnificent Hookers Sea Lion at Aramoana.

Despite the horrific forecast the sun shone.  The jackets and hats were still needed for the chilly southerly wind, though the shelter of the Aramoana Arboretum and tree planting work had us all shedding layers.  The Aboretum protects the unique saltmarsh from the road to town.  The Aramoana Conservation Charitable Trust is regenerating the natives that are tough enough to handle the salt air and soil in this area.  Students learnt how and why to plant trees, so important to life on earth.

Looking for evidence of life!

The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre is soon to launch the sandy/muddy shore guide, along with the Marine Meter Squared (MM2) activity that allows us to monitor change over time in our local marine environment.  The MM2 requires the identification and counting of the animals and plants that live in this environment.  It is recorded on the MM2 website enabling us to see seasonal, climatic or human induced change over time.  With it we can truly be kaitiaki of our marine environment.

Male 7-8 years old Hooker Sea Lion on Aramoana Split

In Otago we are so fortunate to share our beaches with the endangered Hooker Sea Lion.  Coastal Otago is the other breeding ground of this magnificence animal.  Most of the breeding occurs in the Auckland Islands between here and Antarctica.  These beautiful animals are under threat from people’s dogs and a lack of harem structure they have during breeding and pup raising on the Auckland Islands.  The Auckland Island population are in decline due to net fishing for squid.  If you eat squid ensure that it has been caught with a jig or hook and not a net.  This will encourage more sustainable and sea lion friendly squid fishing techniques - a brighter future for the Hookers Sea Lion.  As consumers we have the power to make positive change!

It was an action packed day and I’m sure everyone had tired bodies and increased brain cells.  Look out for the 2014 Otago Enviroschools Primary Hui.  We’d love to have you along!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Come along and have afternoon tea with Wilson and Kelly on Monday 4th November from 3:30-4:30pm in the Plaza Conference Room at Dunedin City Council
Fair Trade tea, coffee, hot chocolate and some nibbles will be available.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Get Together Tuesday 13 August Plaza Conference Room Dunedin City Council

Tena koutou

Great to catch up with you all yesterday – a busy meeting and my apologies for not having time to talk about what was happening for you at your schools. I know you are all mostly gearing up for exams so happy studying and go well!

Just a few bits of information about the people who spoke yesterday

Jacob Anderson Masters Student in the Geology Department at Otago University - https://www.facebook.com/NZYouthDelegation
Each year the New Zealand Youth Delegation sends a team of young people to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change annual Conference of the Parties (COP).  Jacob is one of 4 young people heading to Poland in November. He talked about the need for us all to encourage the government to take steps towards reducing our carbon emissions and for us as individuals to take steps in our own lives to reduce our impact.
Jacob is available to come and talk to school groups/assemblies this month.
Taieri College – 27 August 12:50pm – Hannah to confirm this
KVC – 30 August 12:05pm - Injy to confirm this

Members of the Dunedin Time Bank share their skills with other members within their community and are given time credits for the work they do. With the credits they gain, each member can ‘buy’ someone else’s time and get the service they need. Everyone’s time is equal, you give one hour’s work, you receive one hour’s credit.

Phil Bishop – Associate Professor Zoology Department Otago University and acting director of Science Communication Centre – Frogs are his thing!!!
Phil is also a friend of Jane Goodall-  http://www.janegoodall.org/
Phil is keen to help set up one of the Jane Goodall Institutes international programmes – Roots and Shoots
Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth who share a desire to create a better world. Through service projects, campaigns, inspiring events and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots is helping youth create a hopeful tomorrow.
This group could be the Action Group that was discussed at the last meeting – something outside of school was positive action focussed. Are you or any of your classmates keen?

I have also attached the information about
Global Poverty Project event – 1.4 Billion Reasons  - https://www.facebook.com/GPPNZ#!/GPPNZ/events
Fairtrade New Zealand  Big Fair Bake: Choose it, Bake It, Share it - https://www.facebook.com/NZYouthDelegation#!/FairtradeNewZealand
Otago Farmers Market Enviroschools Stall – 31 August – sell your Fairtrade baking – Enviroschools will give 2 blocks of Fair Trade chocolate to each school who shares some baking at the Farmers Market stall
Blog reminder – remember to check out your blog site for the latest updates and events - http://otagosecondaryenviroschools.blogspot.co.nz/

Next Get together

Tuesday 3rd December 4-5pm at the Plaza Conference Room – Bring a Buddy – bring along a (or a few) year 11 or 12 buddy/ies to introduce them to Enviroschools and other like- minded students from other schools.  There will be food and chocolate! See you then!

Jennie, Anna, Ian

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Unmask Palm Oil Petition

Petition: 20 Days!

We are rapidly approaching the presentation of our petition on 29th August. Help out by collecting those last minute signatures and making sure you send in all your completed forms! If you haven't already you can Sign it here »

Come along and
join us on the steps of parliament when we present the petition to MP's from Labour, Greens and NZ First. Join the Facebook event
Completed forms should be posted to:

Unmask Palm Oil
PO Box 106627
Auckland City Postshop
Auckland 1143

1.4 Billion Reasons to halt global poverty!