Creating Zero Waste champions through ESOL classes and workshops


North Shore’s Albany Intermediate Intensive English class have enjoyed a busy day of zero waste activities.

They’re participating in a pilot in the Albany New Kiwis Zero Waste Education Initiative, a collaboration between the Upper Harbour Board and English Language Partners. The initiative brings together English lessons and a series of zero waste workshops and activities.

The Zero Waste Education Initiative begins with a module introducing learners to vocabulary related to zero waste.

Anthony, originally from South Korea, was delighted with the follow up workshop presentations, although one presenter spoke quite quickly!

“I understood because we learned about the subject and language in advance.”

Waste 101 was an interactive workshop that filled the gaps in learners’ knowledge about waste disposal and recycling, especially confusing items like meat trays, batteries, and e-waste. The students learned the magnitude of Auckland’s waste and Auckland Council’s 2040 zero waste target. Elmore, a migrant from China learned a lot and plans to apply his new knowledge in the future.

“The more you learn about something, the more responsibility you take.”

Love Food Hate Waste was informative and fun. Learners enjoyed Bindi’s tips about storing food and loved the entertaining game she devised to test their knowledge. Nicole, originally from China, said she got “very useful knowledge” and Gloria, also from China, says she will add this “new knowledge” to the knowledge given by her mother. Gloria and other learners agreed they were going to buy less food in the future to cut back on how much they waste.

Love Food Hate Waste session with English Language Partners

The final activity was a clean-up around Albany Domain. The students were supplied with a pair of gloves and large plastic bags and went off in groups to pick up as much rubbish as they could find. They filled several large bags but were pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more rubbish in such a big public area.

The day was a big success. The students had an engaging and interesting time, made plans to reduce their own waste, and interacted meaningfully in English.

Teacher June Couldridge is happy to add the zero waste programme to her English course.

“The more migrants understand about New Zealand and the local community, the more they feel they belong and contribute.”

Her students agree it’s a worthwhile programme and are well on their way to becoming champions for Auckland Council’s 2040 zero waste target!

Writer: Jan Scott

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ESOL Intensive

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