Primary school students setting green examples

TO the question of climate change awareness, Taroona Primary School principal Danielle Bresnehan says, “it’s essential.”

“In our community we have big issues in terms of climate change and pollution and our children are very aware of it,” Ms Bresnehan said.

“They express their worries and this is an area that they are highly concerned about and they want to do something to really make a difference – and our kids at Taroona do make a difference.”

This attitude was reflected in the greening of this year’s Taroona Seaside Festival, which took place on Saturday 30 November.

The festival featured 50 stalls run by students and community members which sold everything from hand-made crafts and food and drink to second-hand goods such as clothes and books.

“Our aim was to be as green as possible, because the environment is such a concern for the people of this school,” Taroona Primary School Association chair Simona Timmins said.

“The festival is a celebration of the environment in which we live and the students and the community, and everyone who contributes to that to create a sense of a holistic happy day.”

Ms Bresnehan said all funds raised would go towards helping the school to meet the needs of the students and the community.

This year, a Green Team formed by volunteering students and parents directly targeted the festival’s carbon footprint through initiatives such as encouraging BYO plates and cutlery or using the teams ‘rent-a-plate’ system.

The Green Team’s uniform also featured 100 per cent re-purposed materials.

The festival was an opportunity for students to put their principles into action, and Ms Bresnehan said the festival’s greening was fantastic and noted Taroona Primary had “really focused on sustainability for some time.”

Taroona Primary School grade six student Iola Fleming, who is a member of the Green Team, said plastic pollution in our world was a real problem.

“It’s causing mass deaths of fish and animals, so we need to do this to help save our land,” she said.

Fellow Green Team member Chloe Terhell said the team collected rubbish which it then “sorted out into compost, red cycle – which is plastic recycling – and unfortunately, landfill.”

The Green Team has also pledged to plant a shrub or tree for every $1000 raised by the festival.

Ms Bresnehan said giving the children a platform to voice their concerns was important to Taroona Primary School.

“We ensure that the children have a voice and are able to be heard,” she said.

Caption: Taroona Primary School grade six students and Green Team members Iola Fleming, left, and Chloe Terhell.

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