This year, one of our school’s key sustainability-related projects will be measuring and reducing our waste. To start the year with a “bang”, we conducted a student-run, waste-reducing, recycling-themed assembly.
The girls of the Senior School “Students for Sustainability” (SFS) group, who operate the co-mingled recycling programme, presented an entertaining and informative interactive “game show” on the wonders of recycling: “So you think you can recycle?”.
In Round 1, three brave Year 11s took on the challenge of answering questions about recycling. These included identifying the non-recyclables (apple anyone?) included in a list of items found in the co-mingled recycling bin.
Then in Round 2, our competitors were presented with the more daunting task of sorting through the contents of real school recycling bins to find the “true” recyclables. Three full co-mingled recycling bins were collected from around the school. Normally, the SFS members sort through these bins prior to emptying them into our big recycling bins, for collection. However, in this instance, we decided to show the whole senior school exactly WHAT we find in the recycling bins on a regular basis, including some things that are obviously just NOT recyclable!
As the recycling bins were emptied onto the stage in front of the assembly (onto a protective tarp of course!), it was evident that our idea of raising awareness about “what not to recycle” was a good one. Many girls in the audience stood up in their seats to catch a glimpse of the contents of the recycling bins, and to watch the frenzied sorting competition! There was also more than a little surprise at some of the items in the bins.
Just like the SFS girls who regularly empty and sort the recycling, the audience seemed bewildered by the inclusion of used tea bags, plastic chip wrappers, half eaten apples and old sandwiches! Many lessons were learned, including just what is recyclable.
Recycled fashion parade (to celebrate World Environment Day, 2010)
World Environment Day in June 2010 saw Ruyton’s first Recyclable Fashion Show, in which students and teachers modelled their sustainable creations made from recycled materials across the “catwalk” in Hiscock Court. We were truly amazed at the talent the entrants displayed; one student sewed business cards into a skirt with suspenders, while others trawled vintage stalls for retro second-hand clothing. The runner up looked effortlessly stylish in her dress made from a horse-feed bag and plastic plates, while the winners stood out in their matching dresses they sewed themselves from second-hand material sourced from the Camberwell Markets. The aim of the show was to teach girls about the benefits of recycling in a fun, positive way, and the show proved to be much more effective than hammering facts into them!