Members of the Environment Club, The Green Planterns, attended “Earth Hour Breakfast” on Tuesday 18th March, 2014. This large inter-school environmental meeting provided students with an opportunity to share their school’s environmental programs and listen to speakers on environmental issues. It was held at St. Ignatius College, Riverview and involved approximately 200 students from 28 different schools.
Some of the highlights for Arden’s two Year 11 representatives, Priscilla Evans and Samantha Wiltshire, included listening to a selection of guest speakers such as:
- Freshie company founder Andrew Campion who discussed his concerns about the damaging effect of disposable plastic bottles littering the ocean and his efforts to make a difference through creating a drink dispensing machine whereby students own drink bottles are filled with drinks from the machine, thus reducing plastic wastage. Samantha Wiltshire commented: “The talk on plastic water bottles by Andrew Campion who created the organisation ‘Freshie’ was very inspiring. He built on our understanding of oceanography from Year 9 Elective Geography and gave us the tools necessary to implement change at our school.”
- Keynote speaker Chris Andrews, co-producer of Habitat the Game, whose underlying message was: “Local actions to create global change.”
- Engineers Without Borders who spoke about creating change through humanitarian engineering, especially with respect to water sanitation and solar energy, in Third World countries and sustainable engineering.
Priscilla Evans summarised things well when she shared: “We have learnt about several initiatives that will help us to initiate ideas that will create a more sustainable environment. We are also very excited to be a part of a change.”
Both Priscilla and Samantha have been members of the Green Planterns since its foundation in 2012. When asked about her motivations for joining, Samantha Wiltshire shared: “I am motivated by the prospect of using our talents and skills to benefit the environment and improve our school grounds.”
Discussing their plans for the group this year, Mrs Karen Moss, Head of Geography at Arden, explained: “Our group’s objective is to create both environmental awareness and a desire amongst our students for action to promote a more sustainable school. Our new garden space is evidence of the group’s commitment to putting into action the idea of sustainability.” Priscilla Evans continued: “This year the environmental group hopes to complete the new garden and raise awareness. We have had many students volunteer to water the plants and weed the garden beds and we also have a large number of students painting walls and helping with murals. We are in the process of initiating fundraisers that will help to integrate new sustainable tools and programs within the school.”
In recognition of “Earth Hour” on Saturday 29th March, Arden staff and students have decided to have a day where they use no lights or air conditioning at school on Thursday 27th March.