Did you know that 18 truck and trailer loads of Tauranga waste is sent over the Kaimai Ranges and buried into landfills in the Waikato every weekday?
To make matters worse, did you know half of this is compostable?
Acutely aware of the fact above, Tauranga Waldorf School does its bit to raise awareness amongst our school community.
With some creative thinking and planning, it is possible to steer away from this as the default option. Plastic-free lunchbox contents, using beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap, parents sharing recipes of quick-and-easy homemade children’s snacks, buying bulk foods in organic compostable packaging are just some of day-to-day initiatives.
While at school the ‘Rubbish Rapiti/Rabbits’ consists of small teams of children that proudly hop along true to their name and sort waste correctly in the various labelled bins. In addition, the friendly pigs in our school farm happily devour scraps to help our cause with much gusto.
Onsite composting ends up feeding the veggie gardens that the children tend to. These everyday attitudes have led to a more ambitious goal for the community wanting to achieve zero-waste at our annual fair; an event that attracts about 1000 families from the region.
With a few years of experience under our belt, we are extremely proud of our progress year-to-year. We bulk purchase compostable product and food packaging, ensure that stall holders are aligned with our ethos, and just like the Rubbish Rapiti, we guide fair-goers to the correct sorting of waste.
Two years ago, the amount of waste from the school fair that was sent to landfill was 4.1kgs, last year this was just over 2 kgs (less than 1% of total waste).
Breaking down the waste
So, what happened to the rest?
Well here’s the biodegradable breakdown:
- 91% (approximately 616kg) of the waste was composted
- 5% (approximately 36kg was food waste and made for delicious treats for the pigs)
- 3% (approximately 20kg) of waste was recyclable
For this year’s fair, we will continue to work towards Waldorf School Fair always enjoys the challenge to try and achieve zero waste.
Another key focus for us is to maximise the number of reusable cups for hot drinks. Even though we’ve used compostable cups in previous years, we are keen to push that to the next level and go reusable.
To help you get your environmentally-friendly hot drink fix, we will have free-to-use boomerang cups and keep cups for sale (added bonus of a free hot drink with the purchase of a keep cup.)
If you already have a reusable takeaway cup, please bring it along when you order your hot drink.
The event is often referred to as a simply magical day amongst fairgoers. We believe zero-waste is one of the aspects that adds to this.
Come experience the magic for yourself at the Tauranga Waldorf School Fair & Open Day on 11th November 2018 10am-3pm.
By Namita Davey
“I write for this magazine because it is a valuable publication that informs and connects our community.”