Twelve Northland schools have signed up to an innovative programme aimed at helping educate young New Zealanders on how to help keep the sea rubbish-free.
The Nestlé for Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners programme, created by Nestlé New Zealand in partnership with non-profit organisation Sea Cleaners, gives schools across the country free access to tools and resources to help children understand the impact of litter. Kaikohe Christian School is one of those in Northland that have joined to the programme.
The programme is designed to educate a new generation of young New Zealander about how their individual actions can have a positive impact on the planet, while helping to tackle the rubbish problem currently plaguing waterways.
It includes lesson content developed by School Kit that branches multiple streams of the school curriculum, including science, social science and the arts, with a variety of resources to help students to categorise and analyse rubbish correctly, as well as information and kits to conduct local clean-ups to demonstrate to students the real-world difference each individual's actions can have on the natural environment.
The free clean-up kits are made from 100 per cent reusable and recyclable materials, including paper collection bags, cotton gloves, and guides to help students correctly sort the rubbish.
Kaikohe Christian School teacher Trish Vesey said the programme was very welcome there.
"With so many of our students at Kaikohe Christian School passionate about protecting the environment, and eager to learn more about what they can do to help, our reintroduction of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners programme was eagerly received," she said.
"It is important for our students to become involved in part of the solution to some of the key issues facing the world today, not just learning about them. This programme ticks all the boxes, and gets them excited about the actions they can individually and collectively take to help protect our planet.
"We've really hit the ground running, and have already organised our dedicated clean-up activity (last Friday) at a site in Kaikohe, with 22 of the youngest students eagerly getting involved. This complements our in-classroom lesson content, which helps students understand the challenges, as well as direct actions they can take to help keep oceans rubbish-free, now and into the future."
The programme forms part of Nestlé's vision to ensure that none of its packaging ends up in landfill or as litter, and is an integral step in the journey to waste reduction. This term, 500 Nestlé for Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners clean-up kits have been distributed, reaching more than 16,000 students.
"By motivating the next generation into conservation action, we are engaging and educating young people on an important issue, which will allow us to collectively work to preserve New Zealand's waterways for the benefit of the marine life and enjoyment of all users for generations to come," Sea Cleaners CEO Hayden Smith said
"After seeing the positive impact of the programme last year, we are proud to continue our partnership with Nestlé to educate and mobilise even more students and help rid our oceans of waste."
Schools that have not yet signed up may still do so. Free resources can be downloaded from www.nestle.co.nz/n4hk/sea-cleaners-resource
Nestlé's partnership with Sea Cleaners is part of the broader Nestlé for Healthier Kids programme that aims to help 50 million children worldwide lead healthier lives by 2030.