Green became golden, when on 6th July 2022 Kristin School was officially recognised as a Green-Gold Enviroschool. The five guiding principles of sustainable communities, empowered students, learning for sustainability, Māori perspectives, and a respect for diversity, are now embedded throughout Kristin.
Kristin’s journey towards Green-Gold Enviroschool status began in 2019, when a dedicated student-led team of 30 students from our Junior, Middle and Senior schools, led by now Year 13 student, Azaria Eddy, a foundation member of the Council of Sustainability, embarked on our Bronze Enviroschool reflection.
“From this experience it has been remarkable to witness a schoolwide commitment to make these changes and to continue to do so, honouring sustainability across all levels of Kristin School”. – Azaria Eddy
Azaria has driven many initiatives, surveyed students and staff, and promoted understanding of Enviroschools at Kristin. Her efforts have been central to our Green-Gold success.
In 2020, we undertook a “Tread Lightly” campaign, where Kristin whānau raised the funds for solar panels and rainwater harvesting tanks for Tūrama, our new undercover court building. This success was followed by the creation of NCEA Year 12 and 13 environmental science courses, with students pursuing a range of sustainability projects, including a successful pest control programme.
Annual waste audits from the Dr Jane Goodall ‘Roots and Shoots’ waste team led to a proposal to invest in a composting system. Over 70% of Kristin’s waste is now compostable, and we now have “We Compost” bins helping to divert this from landfill. Other notable projects include an EKOS Carbon Report, new climate action and the successful social enterprises being developed by our Make a Difference team and Young Enterprise students.
A special part of our Enviroschool journey lies in our growth in the Guiding Principle of Māori Perspectives, and Kristin’s students and staff are experiencing the true value of these connections. Our connection with Te Herenga Waka O Orewa, our local mana whenua, is helping us feel a sense of whanaungatanga to our place. Students from our Bicultural Leadership Team and Year 8 and Year 9 Tikanga courses, recently led a moving pōwhiri (named Pōwhiri ki te Rōpu Ngā Kura Kaitiaki) as we officially welcomed four members of the Auckland Council Sustainable Schools team onto our school grounds as part of the reflection day.
Our reflection day was not just about celebrating what we have achieved, it has also helped us see where there is room to grow. Some exciting new goals have emerged, including the desire to plan for a future school farm, a school marae, fully electric bus transport, 100% waste free lunches, more ‘buddy’ systems, the ambition to plant 10,000 trees a year and lots more!
The Enviroschools kaupapa is about creating a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world, through teaching and learning together. We are proud of our achievements, but also where our new sustainability initiatives will take us.
“He waka eke noa” – We are all in this together!
Sarah Wakeford, Service Learning Coordinator, Kristin School
Re-published with permission: original publication
Banner image: gathering to consider the Green-Gold paragraph.
Celebrating this significant milestone was an important part of the reflection process. Here, student Jerry Chen tells us about one way they shared this with their community.
As an Enviroschool Green-Gold school, we believe that school achievements are only possible with strong support from teachers, family, and friends, and that is why we held the KFF (Kristin Family and Friends group) Enviroschool Green-Gold breakfast. To introduce to parents, friends and family to the sustainability efforts of Kristin while illustrating the results of the KFF Dove Seed Fund, a fund held by the KFF team to support sustainability projects at school.
Starting at 8:30, the Kristin Enviroschool Reflection team members set up a morning breakfast, where parents could learn about the school’s achievements as a Green-Gold school. We began with a karakia, to welcome each individual and to bless the food. Tables were set up with newsletters, reports, and images for the friends and family to explore before the quiz, to be held near the end of the breakfast event.
Mr. Boardman and Ms. Wakeford started the day off by welcoming everyone and discussing the values of Enviroschools. Next, we had students come to share their sustainability projects and their journeys with Kristin. In addition, Year 10 students Miriam and Alyxia shared their Solar Panel project they were creating using funds given from the KFF Dove Seed Fund.
Finally, the day ended with a fun quiz that everyone participated in, flipping through the magazines and reports to find the answers. The KFF Enviroschool Green-Gold breakfast was a fun time for family and friends to visualise the school’s efforts in sustainability!
By Jerry Chen – Year 9 student
You can also read more about the Kristin School Enviroschools journey on their website here. Check out their great video!