Category Archives: Keen to be Green

Handmade Teddies

One of our beautiful mums hand-crafted these adorable teddies for us.  They are the perfect size for each child to take one to snuggle at rest time.

As we are keen to be green, we noted with great delight that the teddies were lovingly created from re-purposed colourful woollen gloves.

The children and teddies joyfully showing a big “Danke” (thanks)

Arboretum Excursion Nov 2018

The Monday/Tuesday GAP class enjoyed a wonderful excursion to the Arboretum recently.  We just love to learn about nature and spend time appreciating it.

We started our day by exploring the amazing Acorn Playground, and what an incredible playground it is.  There are sounds, sights and a wide variety of sensory experiences to be had on the play equipment, both on the ground and high up in the air.

After morning tea on the deck, overlooking sweeping views of Canberra below, we were joined by our positively amazing guide Heather, who we all love to bits.

Heather showed us lots of things and told us lots of stories about the plants, birds and animals at the arboretum.  At one point, we stopped under a tree where we could see a bird’s nest and hear little birds twittering and see them flitting about.  We learned that these clever little “butter bum birds” (yellow-rumped thornbills; not to be confused with the North American “butter butt bird”, which is a yellow-rumped warbler) hide their nests underneath decoy nests in order to protect their young from cuckoos and  predators.

After Heather shared her favourite garden fairy story book with us, we were allowed to examine the national bonsai collection and choose where we might live if we were tiny forest dwellers.

The excursion was wonderful and we learned a lot.  Our return journey to the GAP included a ride on an ACTION bus and then a walk, and was an adventure in itself.  We all enjoyed our lunch back at the GAP, sharing stories of our adventures.

Patrol Cooking Challenge (the woke edition)

In internet-savvy teen parlance,  “woke” means environmentally / socially / politically / ethically aware and responsible.

The Pfadfinder Monday scouts (12-14 year olds) enjoyed another patrol cooking night.  This “woke” edition of the cooking challenge was developed by one of our scouts, and was a whole lot of fun. (Other scout groups wanting to run this activity should contact us for the rules – they are available in English and German!)

We met at the local shops and each patrol was given a budget of $30, with which they had to feed their entire patrol and the two judges (two lucky (or brave) leaders) …. with a THREE course meal!

Extra points were awarded for effort in their presentation

Patrols’ dishes were judged on taste, how complex the dish was, how healthy the dish was, and how sustainable the ingredients were.

In the sustainability category judges were looking for ingredients with minimal packaging, recyclable packaging, best animal welfare, lowest food miles, least amount of water / resources to produce, and so on.

Patrol members eagerly await feedback and scoring from the judges

In addition, patrols were scored on how engaged everyone was, how their team worked together, and how well they cleaned up afterwards.

We all enjoyed the evening – the dishes were delicious (and no leaders became ill in the judging process! On the contrary, leaders reported being well fed up! (Oh, wait!))

The scouts discovered the hard way (once again) how much time it takes to clean up – but that’s the fun of the learning.

Family Oktoberfest 2018

A marvelous time was had by children and adults alike, at the Spielwelt family Oktoberfest on Saturday 3 November.

Along with children currently involved in our playgroups, playschool and scout group, we also enjoyed seeing so many of our alumni returning to catch up… including one family who have returned after having been away in Germany for 5 years.

There were some beautiful Dirndls and great Lederhosen to be seen (even on some of the darling babies), which made the event all the more enjoyable.

The Oktoberfest organising team did an amazing job with the catering and decorating touches.   There were plenty of folk available to help out on the day too, which gave the event a real community feeling.

It was touch and go there the night before, with a total fire ban being announced, but thankfully the ban was lifted in time for us and we were able to use our fire permit and the cooking of our Spanferkel could go ahead.

Christian’s specially brewed Oktoberfest Bier was enjoyed by those who wished, and there was plenty of food, music and games to keep everyone happy.

The Tug of War game was a hit with the dads and kids.  Some of our Pfadfinder set up a rope bridge swing between the trees and lots of children had a wonderful time playing on that.

Our teenaged scouts and friends held their own Oktoberfest picnic gathering in the park, playing soccer and other games, and enjoying each other’s company at what they called “a dignified distance” from the parents.

By using reusable picnic plates, cups, mugs and cutlery, serving fresh home-made foods and creating our own decorations from recycled materials, we were able to reduce our waste-to-landfill from this event by 70% this year.

Our hard-working organising team would like to thank all those who brought such delicious salads, Bretzeln and desserts to share…. and thank the many folk who helped setting up tables, washing dishes and packing up afterwards.

 

 

Outdoor Classroom Day 2018

The children at GAP enjoyed participating in a global initiative called Outdoor Classroom Day on November 1st.

We enjoyed some time to explore the trees, sticks, grasses, leaves, pine needles, bits of bark, insects, fresh air and sunshine in our surrounding heritage-listed park land.

We also enjoyed a picnic in the beautiful dappled shade under a tree, in the company of our teachers.

Pfadfinder Pfashion Show

The scout hall was alive tonight with music, dancing, food and fashion.

The joeys, cubs and parents were treated to a fashion show and disco tonight, put on by the older scouts and venturers.

Guests were treated to some healthy nibbles and delicious cake in our foyer area  to begin the evening (thanks to our volunteers who helped prepare the food).

Scouts had been learning this term about how the fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter and how the world consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing EACH YEAR.  Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of fashion, consuming 27kg of new clothing per person, on average, EACH YEAR.

In response to learning this, Pfadfinder took action.  We collected donations of unwanted clothing, and got busy up-cycling it into inventive new garments or re-purposing it into decorative useful furniture and cushions.  To showcase our knowledge and efforts, we put on a fashion show to educate the younger scouts and their families.

On the night of the fashion show, guests were seated around our runway, and were educated by two of our scouts who gave an informative presentation about some of the appalling facts we had learned about the clothing industry’s environmental impact, the terrible working conditions for labourers, and the dreadful pollution caused by dyeing fabrics.  Our scout hosts urged guests to only buy what is really necessary, think about where garments come from, and purchase second hand.

Guests were then treated to an upbeat presentation of the three “looks” the scouts had created for the Pfadfinder Pfashion show:  Haus, hats and jeans.   Our Venturer scouts kindly became our sound & light crew, using a light-show board they had created in their electronics workshops last term.

Our models each did a wonderful job of presenting the garments and household objects they had designed and created.  Below are a few sample photos.

Here, a previously unwanted but now decorative and useful office chair makes its debut in our fashion Haus collection:

Hats, hats, hats…

An unwanted umbrella was transformed into a delightful be-ribboned parasol:

Shirts were redesigned as skirts and tops…  and other inventive ways to wear and upcycle unwanted garments were on display:

Even the Roman look is making a come-back to the houses of haut couture:

Our stunning jeans collection hit the cat-walk tonight to wow the crowd:

As a finale, some of the models came out wrapped in sheeting, which they cast off simultaneously to reveal their fabulous jeans collection, and kick off the evening’s disco party for all the guests.

Did you know:  polyester does not biodegrade but instead sheds micro-fibres which enter and damage our waterways; cotton dyeing is poisoning the world’s rivers;  clothing industry wages are as low as $1-$3/day; beading and sequins are an indication of child labour; a $5 tshirt has passed through many hands on its journey from field to store… and is designed not to last, so you must purchase another one;  one pair of jeans requires 7000 litres of water during production (which is how much a person would drink over 5 or 6 years); clothing production consumes an unsustainable 32 million Olympic swimming pools of water each year; and $2.6 billion is spent on Halloween costumes every year – worn for one night only.

A useful resource for finding out how ethical your garments really are can be found here.

Think twice before you buy – chances are you don’t even really need that garment or could get it second-hand and save the planet and its people!

 

ACTSmart Sustainability Expo

At Spielwelt and Pfadfinder, we are keen to be green!  So far, we have made over 50 changes to our hall and operations, to be more sustainable and do the right thing for the environment.

As with everything we do, we do this for the children.  We also hope to educate, support and inspire our families.

The children at the GAP were keen to be involved in making this little video clip, to be screened at the ACTSmart Sustainability Expo on Thursday 13 September 2018 at the Southern Cross Club in Woden.

Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout Group

The Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout group are keen on being green! Learn what they have done to become an Actsmart Business Champion

Posted by Actsmart – Canberra on Thursday, 6 September 2018

 

Come along to the Sustainability Expo, and get further inspired about what you can do (or promote) at your school, embassy, childcare centre or workplace.

 

 

Up-cycled Pfadfinder Fashion is coming

The Pfadfinder Monday scouts are busy preparing for  “Pfadfinder Pfashion Pfest” where our star models and designers will debut a number of fashion pieces each, upcycled from everyday materials.  Here’s how that came about.

Our 11-14 year old scouts were fascinated and horrified when we had a presentation a few weeks ago by local German designer, Hanna of Hoonz Clothing, about the history and environmental impact of the fashion industry.

We learned that the fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to landfill; nylon and polyester clothes do not bio-degrade; cotton plants have typically taken 7 truck journeys before they are even to the stage of being cut out for clothing; fabric dyes are poisoning rivers; clothes can’t be made by machines – they must be sewn by hand, and those hands are often those of child slaves the same age as scouts, trapped in poverty.  We decided we must respect and make more use out of the clothes that already exist in the world.

The scouts have since been busy creating their own fashion items out of recycled garments and accessories donated and collected from the community.  Drawing, designing, cutting, sewing, styling, fitting and sharing a laugh have all been part of the hive of activity at the scout hall.

Even Truffle the visiting Schnauzer helped try on accessories and evening wear.

We plan to showcase our creations in a fashion show.  So this week, we visited a local fashion studio, co-owned by the Swiss German manager of Haus Models, Andrea, and FashFest CEO, Clint, where our scouts learned about putting on a fashion show.

Fashion, we learned, is less about brand names and more about the clothes you love, and choosing a look that says something about you.

We also learned that a fashion show is about much more than the garments… it’s a party!  Our show will be a party with an environmental message.

Pfadfinder Pfashion Pfest will be held Tuesday 25 September 2018.   Come along and enjoy a fun night at our scouts’ fashion show!

Children’s Clothing Swap

Pfadfinder have been learning about the clothing industry and how it affects the environment.   The textiles industry is a huge polluter, so we thought up some ways we could reduce our impact.  Watch this space!

One easy way to reduce the number of clothes that end up in the landfill:   Pfadfinder had a clothes swap night – trading clothes with each other and refreshing their wardrobes without buying anything new.   Some clothes donated on the night got upcycled into new and different styles of clothes.

From 13 – 24 August 2018, we are hosting a second hand stall for quality children’s clothing for GAP and Spiel und Spass, too.

Parents can donate quality children’s clothing their child has outgrown, AND / OR  browse through the many donations and take whatever they like.  If you don’t find anything suitable one day, check back the next day or week, as fresh items will have arrived.
We are keeping it to children’s clothing this time.  If people like the concept, we can try other kinds of stalls.
Photo of just a few of the clothes available on Monday night, after lots of clothes had already changed hands.
This is an initiative of Pfadfinder scouts who are hoping to help keep clothing out of landfill and circulating in our lovely community. We are, afterall, keen to be green!
Anything left on 24 Aug will be donated to Salvos or Vinnies.
Enjoy!

Chocolates and straws are next to go

As delicious as chocolate is, the committee has recently decided to knock it from our fundraising campaign despite its reasonably good return on investment.

Aside from the obvious questions about modelling healthy habits for children, chocolate is a luxury the environment can’t really afford on the scale it is being produced in the world.  Add to this the unethical treatment of farmers (including children), and this is simply not an issue we choose to ignore any more.  So chocolates are off the list.  Luckily, there are still bake sales and mangoes to look forward to!

Encouraged by the ACT government’s “Straws Suck!” campaign, we have ditched straws from our craft supplies and kitchen, too.