On the 19th of May 2017, I had the privilege of doing a recycling & conservation activity with a bright group of grade 3’s from Laerskool Meyerspark in Pretoria East, where we planted various succulents in 2L bottles which were kept in their respective classrooms. The design we used allows the plant to feed gradually (thanks to a piece of thread which extends into the water) requiring minimal care and maintenance.

I began the activity by talking to the learners about the importance of recycling and promoting the #WasteStopsWithMe campaign by practicing the “reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan more efficiently. I was quite impressed to learn that they were already familiar with this slogan and they fully understood the importance of recycling, and the need to generate less waste over time. I was privileged to have had two representatives from the South African National Biodiversity Institute(SANBI) accompany me. They assisted in the planting activities and explained the importance of plants, biodiversity and conservation to the kids.

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During the activity, I was pleased to learn just how much they knew about plants and the importance of recycling. A bright student, Jaden, was quite well informed about caring for plants and told of the need to keep plants near us as they provide us with oxygen. After each group decorated the bottom half of the bottle using various ribbons and stickers, we proceeded to the most exciting part of the day the actual planting. Each of the seven groups planted their own succulent species.

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A huge thank you to Mrs Sandra da Costa from Laerskool Meyerspark. Felicia and Precious from SANBI, I am ever grateful for your willingness to get your hands dirty. It was a wonderful experience and thanks to the beautiful photos by Catherine Tatham I can reminisce on this experience for days to come.

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