News | 10 August 2022

Inspiring tamariki to become waste minimisers

We’ve been offering the Zero Waste Education Programme for primary and intermediate schools and kindergartens since late last year.

Waste minimisation education programme in action.

Through this free programme, children gain practical skills and knowledge for waste minimisation at school and at home. They also learn about sustainable resource use by examining the link between natural resources, the products we use and the resulting waste.

Students consider the te ao Māori concept of kaitiakitanga. This helps us see ourselves as guardians of resources, not to be wasted but to be cherished and safeguarded so we leave our world in a better place than we found it.

Te ao Māori tikanga helps our Waste Educator Lorraine Boennic talk to the students about taking a long-term view of things – considering future generations when making choices about how we live today – and making the connection between our health, the health of the land, the water and the taiao.

“I highlight to the students how privileged we are to be able to draw on these indigenous concepts to help us to better understand and explain our connection with the world around us. This is a wonderful platform from which to start our waste minimisation journey together,” says Lorraine.

Children take their knowledge and curiosity home, fostering more reducing, reusing, recycling and composting in the wider community.

The programme is full of interactive activities and engaging resources and games, with guest appearances from real worms and a worm puppet for the younger audiences, through to a deep dive into fast fashion, e-waste and ecological footprints for the older students.

Since the programme started, we have delivered multiple sessions to hundreds of children and teachers in around 30 education centres. There is a genuine appetite for education around resource sustainability and waste minimisation with young Wellingtonians and their caregivers and teachers.

This mahi supports our citywide goal to more than halve emissions by 2030 and be a net zero carbon capital by 2050.

Find out more about our zero waste education for schools.

Find out more about our Te Atakura – First to Zero plan (470KB PDF).