Zero Waste Week is an award-winning week-long campaign that aims to raise awareness regarding how waste negatively impacts the environment, which runs from September 6 – 10.
According to Good Things Guy, Zero Waste Week was launched in the UK in 2008 and has since become an international initiative.
Since its doors opened in February 2021, Green School South Africa has been hard at work to pursue a zero-waste policy.
Zero Waste Week works towards helping people as well as organisations, including households, businesses, schools and community groups to reduce landfill waste and recycle more.
Green School SA is based in Drakenstein Valley just outside of Paarl and is an area that’s celebrated for its diverse plant life. This is the third organisation in a growing of schools worldwide that educate through community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning in a natural environment. The school was founded in Bali in 2008. Another one of their schools are based in New Zealand and another is set to open its doors in Mexico in 2022.
The school’s co-founder, Alba Brandt says that since the school opened its doors earlier this year, several other schools across the country have approached her – asking to advise them on how they could put their own zero-waste into play or reduce their waste.
Green School SA also teaches skills for the future. Skills are the backbone for many children with the main skill points being the following:
- Think creatively – Be original, be imaginative
- Activate – Feel empowered and empower others. Take action. Make a difference.
- Adapt – Bend like bamboo
- Think critically – Dig deeper, ask why, make connections.
- Be aware – Look within, figure yourself out.
- Collaborate – Confident alone, stronger together. Find your way.
- Think in systems – Step back and see the whole picture
- Communicate – Process, organise and coherently express ideas
- Solve problems – Figure it out, go for it, identify problems
How can you do your part?
Here are five tips for a zero-waste campus
- All waste from the kitchen at Green School SA is composted or processed in a Bokashi Bin before it is added to a compost heap. The compost is used in the school’s vegetable gardens which in return supplies the kitchen with fresh produce.
- Partner with recycling and waste companies to keep your zero-waste efforts going, so that the waste does not end up in a landfill because it has not been sorted properly.
- Partner with the community. Green School SA has partnered with parents and local businesses (particularly restaurants) with an aim to collect enough glass to make the recycling efforts viable.
- Reduce printing to save paper. Schools print hundreds of thousands of pages per year. Less paper used can have a great impact on our environment.
- Introduce recycling activities as a part of the school curriculum. Zero waste projects can be turned into lessons that may contribute to education for the future.
Green School SA takes in waste from neighbouring and school communities too and has a positive impact on waste to landfill.