Meet Izzy Morritt and Lucy Rule. They are an inspirational pair of school girls with big, brave ideas about some pretty big (global in fact) issues.
Dr Jane Goodall’s NZ Tour
They both attend Sumner School which happened to be on the itinerary for Dr Jane Goodall’s current New Zealand tour. The Jane Goodall Institute NZ, along with the University of Canterbury, the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) and Sumner School hosted a special Roots and Shoots event on Friday 30th June.
In preparation for this, students of the school were asked to design a campaign to raise awareness about an environmental issue. Unsurprisingly, the girls’ project was selected as one of the top two campaigns of the Roots and Shoots programme so Izzy and Lucy gave a presentation to Dr Jane Goodall as part of the event. They were super excited about meeting Jane, a lady they obviously admire, and apparently, she did not disappoint!!
Refuse & Reuse
Izzy and Lucy are pretty clued up about the damage that plastic bags do to the ocean, marine life, and the environment in general and they wanted to do something meaningful to address the problem. So, they decided to tackle the use of plastic bags in their local community as their project.
Their campaign strategy was to encourage their local shops to stop handing out plastic bags willy-nilly and instead, encourage customers to purchase a reusable shopping bag. They even designed their own slogan and logo ‘Refuse & Reuse’.
So, they got to work and made some prototype bags, complete with their logo ‘Refuse & Reuse’ screen printed on the front. They put together a list of friendly Sumner shops they could approach with their idea, made up some leaflets and headed out into town armed with a few sample bags and bright smiles.
The results were overwhelmingly positive…every shop on their list was keen to support their project. And they were even more delighted to get their local supermarket on board as well!! They planned to set up a stall and sell some bags outside the supermarket one weekend. Any profits they made would be donated to a marine life conservation charity.
Bag Stall Sellout
This project all started 3 weeks ago and the girls dropped us a note to tell us what they were up to and enquire about purchasing some Ecobags for their project. We were delighted to hear from them and so impressed by what they had taken on. Ecobags felt the same and when the girls put their order through for 50 white tote bags…..Ecobags sent them 100 bags!! We also supported their project and gave them some Green Elephant vouchers to use – maybe on some more bags or maybe on some treats for themselves or their mums…;)
So…they had a lot of printing to get done before their weekend bag sale…!! But they managed it and got Refuse & Reuse bags printed in yellow, red, blue and green.
Their bag stall was open at their local supermarket in Sumner on Saturday (1st July) and it was a sellout. People loved what they were doing and they sold all 100 bags in less than 2 hours!!
It’s so exciting to see our younger generation, not only taking an interest in conservation and environmental issues but actually doing something about it too. These girls are only young (12 and 13) yet they have put in the hours, gone out, grabbed the bull by the horns and DONE something so worthwhile for a cause they care about.
It’s very easy for us to brush aside the big issues and dismiss them, simply because they seem insurmountable. We perceive that our actions would be too small and insignificant to make a real difference to global problems, yet in the very wise words of Dr Jane Goodall, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”.
Izzy and Lucy have decided. Have you….????
Thanks so much to Izzy and Lucy for sharing their story with us, and photo credit for the main image to Martin Hunter and the Bay Harbour News.