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Pedal power . . . Libby Bowles shows off her eco-friendly bamboo bike to children at Fenwick School. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Libby Bowles wants to spread a message.

For the past several months, the United Kingdom-based woman been visiting schools around New Zealand, clocking up serious miles on a bike made out of bamboo.

The purpose of her campaign is to help raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean.

So far, she has covered much of the North Island and she is now on a trek to the bottom of the South Island.

Last Thursday, Ms Bowles arrived at Oamaru’s Fenwick School, where she gave a presentation to pupils about why it was important to keep plastic out of oceans.

Previously, she spent years working in marine conservation and teaching.

Witnessing the harmful effects of plastic to marine life got her thinking and while she was teaching at a school in England last year, a pupil challenged her to put her thoughts into action.

Ms Bowles came up with the idea of building a bicycle out of bamboo.

“The most important thing about my bicycle is that it is mostly compostable,” she said.

“At the end of its lifetime as a bicycle, I can cut out the bamboo sections and they’ll be able to be chipped and go into the compost.”

Ms Bowles started her campaign last November.

So far, she has visited 70 schools across the country.

“I will have spoken to over 6000 [pupils] by the time I leave,” she said.

Queenstown would be her last stop before she flew back to the UK in April.

This is the first cycle tour Ms Bowles has done.

“Starting in New Zealand has just been amazing. I’ve been taken in by families, teachers have had me to stay at their houses and it’s just been incredible.”

Seeing the children’s eyes light up when they learnt they could make a difference was her favorite part of the journey.

“I think it’s just that realisation in children that they can make a difference just by being a good example.”