Over 1,000 Australians take to the streets with their BioPak trash bags on their backs!
The Sustainability News & Entertainment® USA (SNAE) ‘TRASH ON YOUR BACK 5 DAY CHALLENGE©’ is an initiative first conceived and delivered over 5 days from Earth Day 22nd April 2012 by SNAE Host & Founder, Diana Dehm and 20 pilot participants. The SNAE TRASH ON YOUR BACK 5 DAY CHALLENGE© was inspired by a radio interview Diana conducted with Drew Jones, Director of Climate Interactive, a World Energy Exercise at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dartmouth College.
This year the School Broadcasting Network Inc (SBN), in partnership with SNAE USA, created the Australian pilot Sister Nation America/Australia Challenge for 5 days from World Environment Day 5th June 2013. Over 1,000 Aussie Trash Warriors took to the streets with their BioPak compostable trash bags on their backs. This was more than double USA’s combined participants this year, which included Trash Warriors in Canada, Jamaica, Israel and across 21 US States.
Australians are among the world’s largest producers of waste. With the exception of the USA, Australia produces more waste per person each year than any other country , with over 10 million ‘single use’ plastic bags used daily nationwide. The SNAE TRASH ON YOUR BACK 5 DAY CHALLENGE© Australian pilot is gathering data that will assist with preparing for the Global Challenge launching on Earth Day 2014. SBN, in collaboration with KIOSC Discovery Centre at Swinburne University, aims to create a platform for creating awareness around the issue of waste and encouraging sustainable citizenship thinking and systemic behaviour change through this ‘hands on’ educational experience.
SBN’s Australian pilot attracted Trash Warriors from a wide demographic that included 5 year old preps to members of the baby boomer generation. The metrics will examine recyclable verses non-recyclable weights and percentages, as well as the most common repeat items collected over the 5 days and the ‘cradle to grave’ raw material to landfill impact on our nation and planet. The learning outcomes from this year’s sister nation challenge will be utilised to create curriculum enrichment programs for schools in collaboration with SBN and KIOSC / Swinburne University (Victoria) in Australia and SNAE and MIT in USA; for delivery in 2014 and beyond, to upper primary and lower secondary levels across Australia and USA.
SBN is most appreciative of BioPak’s support in sponsoring this pilot program with the supply and delivery of compostable bags to schools across 5 Australian States. It’s important for our next ‘use and throw away’ generation of young people to be aware of the devastating impact our wasteful nation is having on our planet and to highlight the fact that there is no such place as ‘away’. There is nothing quite like carrying your own trash on your back everywhere you go for 5 days, to bring the message home!
By Viarnne Mischon, Founder & Executive Producer, SBN Inc.
The School Broadcasting Network Inc is an award winning NFP youth media network created to give young people a voice about things that matter to them, and to provide mentoring and solution-based reporting for our next generation of world citizens. SBN produces youth radio for a national and global audience – visit www.sbnonline.org and www.primaryperspectives.info for podcasts and weekly broadcast times.
Image: The Patch Primary School, The Patch, Victoria. Students from Prep to 6 plus teachers.