Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world. So what can we do about it?
‘War on Waste‘ , a three part ABC documentary, hosted by Craig Reucassel was produced to see if we, as a nation, can all do a little better. In episode one, Craig explores how much waste we produce as a nation and what we can do about it. He focuses on the staggering amount of food waste which ends up in landfill every year. The second episode focuses on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, which in turn becomes ingested by marine life. And the third episode explores the impact that coffee cups and fast fashion have on our environment. All episodes can be viewed on ABC iview.
What is also great about this documentary series, is that ABC and ABC Splash have produced a range of resources for teachers which are all linked to the Australian Curriculum. This LINK has 25 educational resources for teachers covering topics such as recycling, landfills, e-waste, re-using waste, food waste, composting, sustainable gardens and going green.
You never know, your students may be inspired as much as a group of students from North Adelaide Primary who were on a mission to make changes after watching War on Waste. Their first idea was to sell reusable coffee cups after seeing the damage throw away ones do to the environment, as well as asking local cafes to offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup. This was followed by purchasing calico bags instead of plastic bags and a nude food week where students don’t have any wrappers in their lunch boxes. You can view the BTN coverage of this story and download teacher support materials. BTN also have resources for teachers such as Fashion Waste, which looks at ‘fast fashion’ and how clothing ends up in landfill. A PDF of suggested activities can also be downloaded.
A few weeks ago, a student in my class introduced me to reusable food wrappers. She uses plastic containers for small food items and reusable wrap for her sandwiches or rolls. Here is a plug for a South Australian company (as I live in South Australia and like to buy local) called WRAPPA, who handcraft reusable food wrappers using 100% cotton, either local filtered bees wax or plant based wax (VEGAN friendly), tree resin and jojoba oil. When wrapping food, the warmth from your hands softens the wraps just enough to allow them to stick! That is it!