I had a delightful meeting with Kim McNaughton (Prep Senior teacher) this week on the issue of moving forward with several initiatives at Melawati. Among the things that we discussed was trash. No. Our students are not misbehaving and being rude. Quite the contrary. Both students and teachers are asking about how to be part of the solution to an age old problem: trash.
For a couple years now the Prep Senior class has had trash-free Fridays whereby the students come to school prepared to have no trash at all. It's quite the exercise in problem solving as parents busily work a bit on their baking and food preparation at home, and utilise re-usable packaging to ensure that food stays fresh and the packaging is reused. It's quite a wonderful little tradition and everyone in that microcosm of the world seems to really appreciate what it teaches the children (and adults) as well the clean and direct answer to a major global issue.
Which begs the question... could ISKL do this on a larger scale? Could different grades do the same thing, particularly at Melawati where food preparation in more home based? One of my own goals for this year has been to reduce the waste going to landfill at ISKL. Between our composting from home program (which involves over 80 families, 4 classes and two vendors), our bio-digester and our ongoing recycling efforts at Ampang and Melawati (where a new recycling club has been launched this week) we are hopeful that reduction will come as a natural consequence.
But the true solution lies in reducing, not in reusing or recycling. It is in reducing what we purchase makes a dent on the global demand and, though that, the pressure on resources. It's in reducing produce with extra packaging. It's in making more from scratch so our children can eat a healthy meal while minimizing the waste at home, at school, wherever.
This is one of those things that we hope to keep moving toward. Less waste equals less pollution. Less pollution is something we all want. At Prep Senior the kids are learning that in person. What great lessons to be teaching 5 year olds!