This is Sacha Walters and as well as being Super Mum to our very own Elinor in Room 17, she is also a Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Conservation, advising our government in how best to protect New Zealand’s natural resources and wildlife. Sacha came in today to talk to the Year 5/6 team because they have been studying this exact topic.
Sacha gave us some interesting background information about her role and how the Department of Conservation is looking after the whole country with quite limited resources. In terms of what we can do ourselves, here are some suggestions that we heard today:
- Recycling – ensure we dispose of all of our waste in the right way. Some chemicals and paints that end up in our waterways can cause dreadful harm, so we should find out the right place for these to go. They don’t even go in the red bin. Try the Wellington City Council website for information.
- Packaging choices – when you are at the supermarket, consider how much packaging is wrapped around the food that you are buying and if possible, choose the no or less packaging variety.
- Community projects – get involved on a local level – in Seatoun we can make sure no waste ends up in the oceans and protect our local native species like the Little Blue Penguins. Seatoun School students provided a post for the KCC blog in their Take the Lead Challenge – read about it here.
Here is also a link to the Miramar Ecological Restoration organization which can give some good advice. Take part in nationwide events – like the Garden Bird Survey taking place this month.
- Watch our own pets – dogs and cats can cause havoc if we let them run loose at night time. Even a pet frog or fish could spread new diseases if let loose into our waterways.
- Join Kiwi Conservation Club – this is the children’s arm of Forest and Bird, an environmental organisation whose 80,000 members provide the leg work to many projects such as monitoring, planting, weeding and general hard work. KCC itself holds activity meetings once a month where children learn about different aspects of conservation and this might include counting macro-invertebrates in our local waterways, counting Katipo Spiders, checking Possum Traps or simply identifying native ferns, trees, and birds. For only $24 per year you also receive a great magazine every 3 months called Wild Things. Check out how to become a member here.
- Here is a great book we have just bought for the library which tells us about the pests in New Zealand that we can help to get rid of. We have quite a few books about native species and protecting them in the school library. You can search the library catalogue using the link at the top right of this blog.
- Finally here are some great images, articles, video links and more resources on this topic compiled by the National Library
For all of these links and more information, check out our Enviro Links Livebinder under Research Help – look for this lovely picture and click on it: