Holy Cross College, Ellenbrook
'I came that they may have life, and have it to the full' John 10:10

Year 7 LIFE Week: What’s the Problem With Plastic?

Year 7 LIFE Week 2018 was a busy and engaging time for all Year 7 students and staff. The focus of the week was to explore sustainability issues and to engage with practical skills that contribute to living a low-waste life.

On Monday, the students continued their journey along the Camino Salvado, walking from Maylands to Guildford. Along the way, the students collected all the rubbish they came across. It was wonderful to see the Year 7s make a positive imprint on their environment.
On Tuesday, the students left the college again, bound for consecutive excursions to Red Hill Waste Management Centre and Whiteman Park. At Red Hill, the students were disgusted to see the amount of waste created by the local area in recent weeks. This provoked lively discussion at the students’ stop at the Discovery Centre as they considered the impact of their own choices. At Whiteman Park, the students learned about the threats facing the West Australian environment and assisted in planting new trees.

Wednesday and Thursday brought a series of workshops in which the students explored new, hands-on ways to reduce their waste and to limit their exposure to chemicals. From cooking healthy treats, to creating body scrub, making beeswax wraps, knitting, making bags and undertaking scientific experiments the students got their hands (very) dirty and realised how much they were capable of.

By Friday, the students had embraced the challenge of ‘Zero Waste Week’ and were using their new beeswax wraps to package their lunches. Friday began with a visit from the Water Corporation, who taught the students about the treatment of waste water in Perth and invited them to create their own ‘waste water.’

The students continued the water theme with a water filtration challenge outside. The soon discovered how challenging it can be to access fresh water for those without a clean water supply.

The week concluded with a visit from Perth Zero Waste activist Lindsay Miles. Lindsay explained how it is possible to live with limited waste and also how she walked the Camino de Santiago producing as little rubbish as possible. The students were captivated by Lindsay’s story and asked numerous questions about what they can do to have such an impact.

LIFE Week was a wonderful experience for all the Year 7 students and staff. Now, the students face the challenge of preparing for their exhibition in Week 9, where they will demonstrate their understanding of ‘The Problem With Plastic!’
Miss Emilie Reynolds
Year 7 Innovator