Ruahine Kindergartens

Something old made into something new

Linton Kindergarten

25/Jun/2015

As a part of the Enviroschools network, Linton Kindergarten are finding ways to strengthen sustainable practices.

A recent rubbish audit at the kindergarten revealed that paper was a large part of generated waste. Two baskets were added to the art area for paper collection. One basket is for reusable paper, and one for recyclable paper.

The challenge then, was to find possible ways to reuse the paper. A professional development trip to a kindergarten in Havelock North sparked the idea of making new paper from old paper.

The process begins by ripping the paper from the reusable paper basket into tiny pieces. Rainwater, collected from the roof into the water tank (which is another deliberate way of reusing water), is then added. After a few days, the paper is whizzed by a special drill, turning it into a mushy paper pulp, that is then spread onto a deckle (made from recycled picture frames).

The paper is then flipped onto a towel, allowing the excess water to gently roll away. Tamariki work together, taking the new paper to drying racks placed in the sun.

Paper making requires plenty of commitment, perseverance and focus, but is certainly worth the effort. Children are empowered to take part in a process that teaches a practical way to manage some of the waste generated at kindergarten.