Thursday, 28 November 2013

Waste Audit at Springston 2013

Today we did a waste audit.

That is where you collect rubbish from the whole school for a whole day.  We ended up with heaps of named bags sitting in our classroom ready for sorting.  We wondered what we would find!

Toni from Enviro - Schools came we went into Room 7 and put a tarpaulin on the ground to protect the floor. We tipped all the rubbish from the bags on it.  There was heaps and it was yucky!

Next we sorted the rubbish into separate bins.  They included waste metal, paper, waste food and plastic.

We discovered that:

Our teachers are making coffee using posts that can't be re-cycled but there are not many if you count up all the pods and share them amongst all the teachers - or are there? 
If this was 10 pods used in one day, how many would they use in a week?  
If there are about 38 weeks in the school year and the staff used 50 pods a week, they would use 1,930 pods in a year!

Check out our lunch rubbish.  Lots of the lunch rubbish comes from... chewing gum wrappers (oops!), chips, 2 minute noodles, pop corn and cracker things.  Our lunches are full of packaged and processed food that has LOTS of wrapping!

This huge amount of wrapping can be seen on our chart.  There is a total of 55 pieces of plastic wrap and 129 other items with non-recylcable wrap.  This was not all the rubbish from every lunchbox so imagine what the total from every Springston Kid would be!  We could encourage kids to have nude food days and possibly use some of the rubbish for making rubbish art and sculptures.

Another thing we discovered was.... we are making lots of food rubbish that could be used by putting it in the worm farms or composting for the Secret Garden.  Worm pee is a great food for growing plants and compost keeps our garden happy!
We would need to get people as monitors to make this happen at our school.

We entered the information onto the website and they showed us our graph.
It says we...

Next year we are going to start helping Springston School:

1.  Make less rubbish for the landfill by:
  • having some 'Nude Food' days
  • looking at our packaging choices
  • setting up effective re-cycling systems 
  • separating food scraps and using them more effectively
  • make some 'rubbish' art
2.  Be better at re-cycling and re-using by:
  • feeding the worms and have the Bokashi going
  • having re-cycling bins for each class
  • joining 'Trees for paper' to help plant our school
What else do you think we could do to make Springston School better at managing our waste?  Tell us in a comment.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The ECO Team - 2013 Summary

This is the ECO Team at the end of an exciting year.  We are going to list all the things we have been involved in this year so we can remember how we have helped our school and environment.  Kids working together in a team can achieve amazing things!

(Josephine & Sam were missing.)

We have done these things.....
Built a butterfly Garden - with a bug hotel
Done the Bird Survey
Planted native trees in the Secret Garden
Waste audit in Term 4
Visited other Enviro-Schools
Planted trees at Chamberlain's Ford
Had a market to raise money
Researched the cost of our hats
Made our ECO Team hats
Made scarecrows for the Secret Garden
Built a herb spiral
Taken workshops in all the classes at school
Planned our Vision Map
Made an amazing Vision Map with Maggie's Gran
Made a school promise tree for Earth Hour
Fed the birds all winter
Did bird-watching through Room 6's window
Made a bird resource on the Enviro website
For Earth Hour  - most of us in the Enviro group turned the lights out
Helping the earth by picking up rubbish

Garden Bird Survey

Oops  - we forgot to put up a post of us gathering all the information on the Annual Garden Bird Survey.

Enviro-Schools Matt helped the ECO Team and some helpers from the Junior Classes to count every bird we saw.  We had to use binoculars but there were lots of birds in The Secret Garden!  Then we put the information on the website to be collated with all the information from around New Zealand.  We were working as a huge team.

Here are some photos of us hard at work!

Go to this link for more information about the Garden Bird Survey.  Here is a graph of the  most commonly sighted birds in 2013.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

News from the Garden - November 27th 2013

We had some keen gardeners join us today.  They are getting their new gardens ready for planting.  Reeve and Isaac even managed to plant some lettuces and tomatoes with Mum helping.

Check out how the Butterfly Garden is growing.  Search the Swan Plants for caterpillars when you come to visit.  I wonder when we will see our first butterfly hatch?

A catterpillar of a very different size has appeared in our garden.  It was on the plan but I think our 'Secret Helpers' have been hard at work!  We have to design some antennae and eyes for this amazing creature.  Do you have any ideas?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Secret Garden Party

The Spring Garden Party

At the Springston Community Secret Garden 
on the 20th of October from 11 am until 2 pm

Bring your family along to the first ever Spring Garden Party at the community garden in Springston. We aim to raise awareness of the garden, promote its benefits for the community and create a fun-filled event for primary school students and Springston community members.

There will be:
·     A hat competition (Which primary student can make the best spring themed hat before the event?)
A letter hunt challenge
An opportunity for community members to swap plants
And free BBQ sausages

Friday, 27 September 2013

Insect Hotel

We have built the Insect Hotel in the Butterfly Garden.  Just like the tepee, it was bigger than we expected and should house many insect vistiors.  We were very A+ adaptable because the weather was terrible but we kept going.

Our next step is to:
1.  Make an Insect Garden sign.
2.  Complete some research on some of the insects we might get visiting.
3.  Make information cards and blog posts about the insects.
4.  Keep planting to attract insects.
5.  Build the catepillar at the front of the garden.

Over the holidays Allana is going to search for some ornamental yarrow, honeysuckle, bergamont and a buddleia bush to plant in the garden.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Vote for us to win $1000

Click on this link and vote for our school.  We could win $1000 of Tui vouchers for the Secret Garden if we win out of all the school. You need an e-mail address so get your family to help.  All teachers and Room 7 - we need you!

Link to vote

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Native Tree Planting

Two weeks ago, we planted native trees around the potting shed with help from Zanada and Terry.  First we cleared the area.  Then we dug the holes and laid down mats.  After we planted the trees, we put sleeves around them.  We are hoping they grow big and encourage more native birds to visit our school so we can watch them and count them in the annual bird survey.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Insect / Butterfly Garden

One of the Inquiry Teams in Team Endeavour has decided to work on making a Butterfly/Insect Garden.  The people in the team are:  Liam, Māhora, Harriet, Freya, Quaid and Jess.

First we went to see the space available for the garden.

Next we researched what plants would attract the most beneficial insects and butterflies to the garden. We wrote them on a plan and highlighted the plants that attracted the greatest range of insects.  
1.  We needed to attract a wide range of beneficial insects and provide food for them
2.  Provide an area monarch coccoons could hang from
3.  Provide a hot sunny area for butterfly wing drying
4.  Provide a sandy wet area for insects to drink from
5.  Build an insect hotel for other insects to live in

We developed the start of a plan for the garden and researched ideas on insect hotels.  We shared these ideas with both Zanada and Terry, who are helping us with the project.  Terry talked to us about the importance of bees and how we could cake the garden for them too.

At the garden, we started to build the tepee for catepillar cocoons but it seemed quite big.  Zanada decided to make the garden 50% bigger than we had intended.  Craig said he could help us by building edging for the path so the bark wouldn't get spread around.

We needed to remove the weeds from the surrounding garden so that we could use it to extend the garden.  Our next step is to mark out the path and plant the first of the plants we have bought:

3 x lavender
1x green fennel
1x bronze fennel
1x dill
3x swan plants (These will need to wait till after the frosts finish.)

We have planted seeds for parsley, chives, corriander and lots of swan plants from the seed pod we cut open.  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Bird Information - Kea

photo by Christian Mehlführer

Maori: Kea
English: Mountain Parrot


Spread out - only one nest every 4.4km.
Breed from July to March

Size :
46 - 50cm

Mountains, ski fields, alpine - common in these areas

Dull green parrot with a bright orange patch under their wings.
Social, mischievous, inquisitive. Often found pulling parts of the cars of people or window wipers.


Intelligent Kea:

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Tui Bird information

Name: Tui, Parson Bird

Maaori Name: Tui

Passerine Birds (Native

Scientific name:
Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

Abundance: This bird is commonly found in New Zealand bush.

Food: Nectar, insects, fruit

Habitat: native forest, scrub, kowhai, gums and flax

Appearance:  20cm

Breeding Sept-Feb


Bellbird imformation

Name: Bellbird

Maaori name: Korimako

Sientific name: Anthornis melanura


Family: Bird

Breeding: Sep-feb

Origin: Endemic

Food: Insects, nectar, honeydew.

Habitat: native forest, scrub, parks and gardens.

Appearance: Green, 20cm

Bird call:

Picture by Sid MosdellSidPix
Member since 2008

Monday, 5 August 2013

Shining Cuckoo: Pipiwharauroa

Shining Cuckoo  
Image free to use - From Wikimedia Commons


Scientific Name:
Chrysococcyx lucidus



Invertebrates - insects including poisonous hairy caterpillars and ladybirds.

Forests, gardens, scrub, parks

Green back, striped front, 16 cm


Great website:

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

ECO Vision Map

Secret Garden Harvest

Hi I am Harriet and I have been at the Secret Garden. I harvested two  cauliflower, one broccoli and a cabbage.
I love the secret garden because you get to do really cool stuff.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Native Bird ECO Action

The ECO Team has decided to work on encouraging the birds over this winter.  This will help the Juniors who are doing the Bug Walk for Choice and Challenge.

Here are our ideas:
Make bird feeders
Make bird honey sugar food
Learn what the birds look like to identify
Make something for the kids to ID and learn about the birds
Bird survey to find out what birds are visiting our school
Find out what plants native birds need
Plant some more natives to feed our birds

Monday, 10 June 2013

ECO Vision MAp

On Tuesday the 11/6/13 at second break the Eco Team started to colour in our vision map.

It was Josephine's idea of what her dream vision map would be. We all helped do our own part. After we finished all of the colouring it actually looked better than we thought it would look.

This was the map that we developed from the whole schools' ideas that Matt helped us sort yesterday.
By Lucy and Chloe

Monday, 3 June 2013

A possible logo for the ECO - Warriors

Check out Jojo's cool design for the ECO -Warriors.  Tell us what you think.  Would this fit our ideas of fighting for nature and to look after the Earth?