Category Archives: Keen to be Green

A Fair Chomp

Some of the children at the GAP joined their teacher Lisa-Marie starring in an ActSmart video to share one of our tips about being green.

By replacing our old bar heaters for more efficient reverse cycle heaters, we have reduced our carbon footprint and now save ourselves over $1000 a year. As our young GAP friends in the video will tell you, that’s a fair chomp!

We have posted the ActSmart video on our Facebook page for your enjoyment.

Our Solar Panels are on

Some say the Turner Scout Hall is a power house of energy and sunshine! That’s all the more true since our solar panels went on today.

The children at the GAP sang a traditional German children’s song about busy tradespeople (Wer will fleissige Handwerker sehen? (sing along if you wish)) while the installers Carn and Ambrose were hard at work on the roof installing the panels and Rhys was wiring up the inverter.

When the workers were finished, the children came outside to admire the panels and talk about what they were for and why we are “keen to be green”.

Thanks to Mark and the team from Captain Kilowatt who organised it all for us, and Eshan at ActSmart who helped us with our feasibility study and picking the right components.

We are very grateful to the ACT government: Our contribution of $5,000 was matched by the ActSmart program, and we are now the proud users of a 6.48kW solar system with Jinko panels and a Fronius inverter.    

Based on current electricity consumption, and using our new SmartMeter, our investment will pay for itself within 3.5 years. 


Outrageous Picnic in Haig Park

The Monday scouts and venturers enjoyed an outrageous picnic in Haig Park. This wasn’t just any picnic!

White table cloths, a candelabra, colourful table lights, classical music and black-tie waiter service were the order of the evening. All set up under twinkling coloured lights in the park at night.

Table settings before the scouts arrived

The scouts had each brought something yummy to contribute to the picnic – home-made bread, delicious winter soup, dips, crudite, drinks and German desserts using Oma’s secret recipe.

The main course was “freshly delivered Turkish pide”, courtesy of a Cathy (in a pink flamingo costume, of course, because you know, it’s scouts and an outrageous picnic) and her team from the Haig Park experiments project.

Our fancy menu, auf Deutsch

As it was a scouting event, there had to be plenty of silliness. Our black-tie venturer scout waiters were harnessed and tethered to nearby trees with bungee cords, making it highly entertaining to see them try to deliver food and drinks to the tables.

Scouts enjoyed a three course meal. At each of the three courses, an envelope was delivered and its enclosed instructions were read out: During the Vorspeise, scouts could not feed themselves, but had to feed those next to them. During the Hauptgang, scouts caught speaking anything other than German had their food swiped by a waiter and had to beg (auf Deutsch, natuerlich) for it to be returned. During Nachtisch, scouts had to be blindfolded with beanies or scarves, and eat without seeing anything.

Then the bill arrived at the table. Oh dear! Rather expensive! Nearly 1000 Euros, including the Mehrwertsteuer and Gastronomie fees. The scouts were given three options for payment: cash, sing, or wash the dishes. Predictably, they chose the singing option and were given the lyrics and forced to sing four German children’s songs as a choir. It was really good fun!

We are grateful for the wonderful support of the Haig Park Experiments team.

Keen to be Green report: This event produced about 200 grams of waste to landfill. A great result, Pfadfinder scouts!

Landscaping in Haig Park

In response to community consultation, the ACT government is trialling some changes to Haig Park. One suggestion was to formalise the walking tracks into paths.

The Pfadfinder joey and cub scouts volunteered to help spread bark chips along one of the paths. Our Pfadfinder kids sure know how to turn work into FUN!

One of our venturers gets things started for the joeys and cubs

Five cubic meters of bark chips were delivered to Haig Park, and in the dark of night, we beavered away spreading bark and beautifying the trees lining the path.

Filling up the cub and joey scouts’ buckets from the dingo shovel!

We wanted to work quickly so that in the morning local residents would wake to a picturesque path.

The scouts had prepared beautiful natural objects and colourful birds to hang in the trees. There are even two hand-crafted eucalyptus bark baskets for people to admire, which had been created by a parent for our lantern walk.

Hanging the colourful birds (courtesy of Byrd) and natural objects.
A beautiful eucalyptus bark basket

Many hands (and buckets) make light work, and we had time for a few races up and down the path in the wagons, bike trailers, billy carts and wheelbarrows that we had used.

Preparing for the races!
The bike trailer and billy cart were so fast, we couldn’t capture them on film!
Preparing for a joy ride! (photo courtesy of Anna)
Singing one of our traditional scout songs amongst the trees in Haig Park

The sun rose the next morning on our picturesque path, all finished. We hope local residents enjoy the scouts’ contribution to Haig Park.

Environmental Scientists

The GAP children had an amazing time learning about water, with our resident environmental expert, Paul Doyle.

We wondered, what lives in the rivers? Ducks, fish, platypus, swans, water fowl, yabbies….

What do those animals eat? Small water bugs, small fish, fish eggs, snails, zooplankton, insects…

What else gets into the water and how does it get there? Rubbish sometimes gets washed into the rivers by the rain and through drains.

Paul very kindly brought in some of his scientific equipment and interesting water samples for us to look at. It was fascinating.

We also made platypus puppets from paper bags, and talked about how we can keep our environment clean so that animals like platypus can live in clean water. In fact, we all need clean water to live.

Field Biologists at work

In the past weeks, the GAP children have been talking about sciences like biology, chemistry and geophysics, and performing fun experiments in class. The children are always keen to explore outdoors, so….

We ventured out into the field as biologists searching for animals. And guess what? We found some never discovered before! With the discovery of a new species, comes the prestigious naming rights in Latin, of course.

The photo featured above is Igelus Nicki. Meet some of our other newly discovered geo-flora-fauna below!

Mausus Stock
Hausschuhus Lickibum (don’t ask. It’s Latin)
Fussabdruckus Glitzerbombe
Schlangus Bente

Rainbow Pizza

The Monday-Tuesday GAP class thoroughly enjoyed learning about colours and vegetables, with Lisa-Marie’s innovative lesson about making a rainbow pizza. We did this in small groups so that everyone had an opportunity to participate.

First we made our own pizza dough and rolled it out
Next we put the tomato sauce on
Next comes a variety of toppings
We were so pleased with ourselves when we managed to make a rainbow on our pizza!

Making our own vegetarian pizza was fun and healthy, and it meant less packaging was wasted and it was more environmentally friendly.

Another sustainability award from ACTSmart

We were suprised and delighted to be acknowledged once again at the ACTSmart Sustainability Award ceremony this year.

Last year, we won the Energy and Water Star award, and this year we received “highly commended” for the Small Business award, presented by ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability,  Shane Rattenbury.

Spielwelt has  made over 50 green changes to its operations, including installing LED lighting, triple-glazed windows, energy efficient reverse cycle heating with shut-off timers, solar space heating and instant hot water; we have draught sealed the doors and curtained off areas we don’t need to heat. This has reduced electricity consumption and continues to save us $1100 per year and 4 tonnes of CO2.  Our families’ use of single use soft-plastics has greatly reduced as our GAP and Pfadfinder children have their own bees wax food wraps.  Our Pfadfinder scouts have taken their green lessons to heart and now regularly include green practices in their activities.

You can read about our many other changes in our Keen to Be Green posts, and read about the awards on the ACTSmart awards page.

Further education for our children on environmentally responsible practices is planned for this year, and thanks to ACT Smart funding assistance and their expert guidance navigating the world of solar quotes….

SOLAR PV PANELS are coming to Turner Scout Hall!  Watch our roof!

 

 

ACTSmart Sustainability Award Winner

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.