Free environmental education resources available for Pacific island schools

A group of lucky students at Vaiala Beach School have become the first in the Pacific to receive free copies of a colourful new educational poster, produced through a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the European Union.

Called 'Smart choices for a cleaner and safer Pacific' the poster promotes a range of simple actions that contribute to reduced waste and increased resilience.

Ms Annie Meredith, Year 7/8 Teacher at Vaiala Beach School, sees great value in fostering the idea of making smart choices, both at home and in the classroom:

"For us, receiving these posters has been very timely as our class is working on a range of initiatives, such as composting, to improve our resource management. The posters will be a great reminder to all our students about the importance of making smart choices, rather than falling back into old habits."

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Students from Years 7 and 8 will present to other classes at Vaiala Beach School about the importance of making smart choices for a cleaner and safer Pacific. Pictured (left – right) are Melody Salesa, Noelani Jessop and Anita Alex. Photo: A.Carvan/SPREP

The Smart Choices campaign has been created through the Pacific Hazardous Waste Management Project – PacWaste. PacWaste is a €7.85 million, four year project funded by the European Union and implemented by SPREP to improve regional hazardous waste management across the Pacific.

Mr Kosi Latu, Director General at SPREP, explains that behaviour change at an individual and community level is key to sustainable waste management in general:

"If we want to see entrenched hazardous waste management practices, an important starting point is to change our mindsets when we deal with any kind of waste – whether it is green waste in our gardens, household waste in our rubbish bins and even wasted energy from appliances and lights. Like the poster says, making smart choices can make a huge difference to both human health and the health of the environment."

Schools across the Pacific can request free copies of the poster, printed on 100% recycled paper, by emailing SPREP's Information Resource Centre and Archives (IRCA) at SPREP_IRCA@sprep.org

The 'Smart Choices' posters are available in both English and French. Electronic copies can also be downloaded from www.sprep.org/pacwaste



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