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Hard workers . . . Weston School's Tui Class pupils with bags of rubbish they collected around the town last week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Awareness and caring for the world around them has become a way of life for Weston School pupils, and this was officially recognised last week.

The school became the first Enviroschool in North Otago to be awarded a bronze acknowledgement.

Each year, a school’s sustainability efforts are assessed, and if they meet the Enviroschool programme’s criteria, progressive awards are presented from bronze to gold.

The Weston Enviro Group, led by teacher Jenny Kitchin, gave a guided tour of the school grounds to Otago Enviroschools facilitator Robyn Zinc and North Otago facilitator Bron Claridge. The grounds are a living testament to the group’s efforts, with their skink garden, orchard, native plantings, kitchen garden, tunnel house, compost bins and worm farm.

The group also spoke of the zero-waste goals for the school, and the change they had made to takeaway packaging from bought lunches.

Principal Deidre Senior said the Enviro Group had done some “awesome mahi”.

“It was wonderful to be part of this celebration and to see the pride and feel the energy that this group have for what they do.”

Enviroschools is a nationwide programme encouraging schools to commit to a long-term sustainability journey, which includes learning about the environment and how to look after it.

Meanwhile, the school’s Tui class spent last Wednesday morning picking up rubbish around Weston and painting blue fish on the drains as a reminder that the waterways lead to the sea, and encouraging people to think about what they put into them. The class also filled almost seven bags with rubbish.

The outing was supported by staff from South Roads, who kept the children safe from traffic with cones and flashing lights.