Creating a climate of difference

Little gardeners mucked in to shovel soil and plant flaxes and grasses at Queenstown's Matakauri Wetlands in a lesson on how to reduce their carbon footprint.

Priya White (left) and Hana Jones (both 10), from Wanaka Primary School, were just two of 55 pupils from nine Central Otago schools visiting Queenstown on Tuesday for a climate change hui.

The years 5-8 pupils spent the morning learning the science behind environmental consequences and calculating the emissions released when they travelled to and from school in a car.

Photo: Miranda Cook
Photo: Miranda Cook
In the afternoon, plenty of sunshine came to the party while they got their hands dirty planting the flaxes and grasses to offset some of those emissions.

Enviroschools Otago regional co-ordinator Robyn Zink was impressed by the creativity pupils showed when they were tasked with finding new ways to be more environmentally friendly.

''We wanted to teach them that we can all take action to make a big difference, and by working together, that difference can be huge,'' Ms Zink said.

''More and more young people are hearing about climate change, and I think it's important they understand what they can do about it because it can become overwhelming very quickly.

''We want them to know they have a voice in this space.''

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