Encouraging environmental education
The O-I New Zealand Environmental Fund is focused on supporting schools in undertaking practical environmental studies, rather than promoting environmental ideals. There is no issue or area that is specifically excluded. Past projects have included studies on topics such as marine environments; the impact of farming, industry and recreation on waterways and lakes; investigations into alternative energies; monitoring and eradication of pests and noxious weeds; and the creation of native bush corridors for birds and animals.
A local environmental focus
Many of the projects are centred on an issue local to a school. For instance, there may be a stream, river or body of water nearby worthy of study or restoration. The school may be close to a wetland area or have identified an opportunity to extend a regional “green corridor.” The project may be age specific and act as an introduction or exposure to an environmental issue or opportunity. For instance, worm farming and establishment of native gardens are frequent entry-level projects for early childhood development or primary level students.
Hukunui Primary School – The Living Room Project
The Challenge: To plan, design and build an eco-classroom that was not only ecologically sound but would also function as a working laboratory for students.