The theme area of Zero Waste is one that many schools embrace in response to an easily identified situation in the school grounds. This often starts with a discussion (staffroom and classroom) about what the issue is and then is measured through waste audits. This may lead exploring a range of changes in practices and behaviours, considering these and acted on those that are relevant to each community.
Although we see some remarkable shifts in learning and action though exploring this theme area, we also see the value of revisiting the key concepts and the vision of zero waste through the year as things slip (another audit will show this) and new people join the school community. It is one thing to be told what to do, it is another to understand why it is so important to reduce our waste to landfill, redirect when we can, reduce at every opportunity and rethink what we need, use, and buy, and so be able to decide what to do (ultimately building competence to know and act responsibly in any situation).
Read this New Zealand Geographic article – it’s inspiring!