Operating a successful worm farm, using rubbish bins wisely and feeding up the school pig has won Stratford Primary School a Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) environment award.
Spearheaded by teacher Lisa Hill, the school's environmental strategy has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
Environmental projects include collecting food scraps to fatten up a school pig, which is then raffled off and sent to the market at the end of the year.
"No-one meets the pig," Mrs Hill said.
"We don't have him on-site so the kids don't get to form that attachment with him, because at the end of the year, he goes to a happier place."
Funds from the pig go towards the next year's sustainability initiatives.
Stratford is part of the Enviroschools programme and has an "Enviromight" student team which has been instrumental in its greenie initiatives.
Perhaps the school's most successful feat has been reducing its waste from 12 wheelie bins a week to three.
"That's purely from putting the right rubbish in the right bins," she said.
Mrs Hill was thrilled with the award, and gave credit to the caretaker, teachers, kids and their families for getting on board with the programme.
"It makes all the hard work worth it."
The regional council awards started in 1993, and last night's 16 presentations took the total to 205 since the awards began.
The competition underwent a major overhaul this year and drew sponsorship from businesses, including Fonterra, Dow Agrosciences, Port Taranaki, Methanex and the Taranaki Daily News, in the education section.
TRC chairman David McLeod said the actions of each winning organisation showed how much value was placed on the region and its environment.
"They also remind us of the huge effort that goes into protecting and enhancing our environment. Each year, farmers, businesses and councils in Taranaki invest tens of millions of dollars in the environment."
He said the award winners were an example of "the Taranaki way" exhibiting a strong sense of togetherness, with everyone pulling their weight.
"All of this effort, by our award winners and many others like them, gives us confidence that we can look forward to a thriving and prosperous future here in Taranaki."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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