Green Innovation Awards

Joanne HeathEnvironment & Conservation, Impact, Youth

Green Innovation Awards

Photo: Agricultural students at Richmond River High Campus, Britney Lehame, Alisha McPherson, Emily Hunter and Taya Arundel-Clarke proudly showcase the re-usable bags they made entirely from single-use stockfeed bags that were going to landfill.

The Green Innovation Awards, a community based environmental competition for students across the Northern Rivers, recognise schools for out of the box thinking. Founded by local chiropractor Dr Bridie Cullinane, the awards challenge students to invent, develop and present ideas for greener living to a panel of environmental scientists and influential leaders. The NRCF are proud supporters of the 2020 Green Innovation Awards, through our Chairperson’s Grant.

Dunoon Public School and Richmond River High Campus were announced as this year’s primary and high school winners via an online event last week.

The Agricultural students at Richmond River High Campus were thrilled to take home the title. After embarking on a waste audit, the students quickly discovered that plastic was a serious issue with hundreds of single-use stockfeed bags going to landfill each year. They explored ideas for transforming this problem waste into a valuable resource by converting stockfeed bags into tarps, frost covers, aprons, pencil cases and re-usable bags. These innovative designs were then shared with other classes and the reusable bags were unanimously voted the most popular and practical.

The creative students at Dunoon Public School created Australia’s very first “Spray Safe App” for the community by talking with local farmers and residents and then putting their tech capes on. The app is designed for farmers to log in the date, time and location of agricultural spraying. People living nearby with sensitivities, allergies and health conditions can opt to receive a spray alert and take pro-active actions like closing windows and taking in the washing before spraying occurs.

Following the success of this year’s program, Dr Cullinane is already looking to the future, announcing that next year’s awards will be even bigger and better with a new learning experience to support teachers and students refine their ideas.

“For the first time, we’re introducing a new mentor program to directly connect schools with local, business leaders who are at the forefront of their industry,” said Bridie.

Major sponsor of the Awards, Southern Cross University, will also be hosting a brand new Innovation Day in their Enterprise Lab at Lismore campus, where students will be able to workshop their innovative idea with experts form the SCU teaching and research staff.

You can still watch the students presenting their ideas, as well as special video messages from Dr Cullinane, Scrap Boy and Costa the Garden Gnome, local politicians and identities and our NRCF Chair, John Callanan. Watch the awards ceremony here.

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