A gift that grows: Hawke’s Bay students’ budding business looks to help schools with paper waste

When Year 13 Karamū High student Esta Chaplin saw how much wastepaper was going straight to landfill she knew she had to take action.

She and her fellow students had the idea to turn yesterday’s unused paper into today’s greeting cards, packed with a seedling surprise for a gift that quite literally grows.

“We’ve all had a bit of a worry about our paper waste,” Chaplin told Hawke’s Bay Today.

A waste audit at the school found 40 per cent of its waste was paper, which was going straight to landfill.

“It’s a large percentage of our waste but we found there was no affordable way for it to be recycled.”

Head student Lena Ormsby said Karamū High was one of the very few schools in Hawke’s Bay that prioritised recycling paper.

“Last year we made planners from recycled paper and this year we’re taking recycled paper from our classes directly and making them into greeting cards.”

Posie Papers takes take large amounts of the school’s waste paper and repurposes it into handmade cards and envelopes.

The envelopes are also embedded with native seeds, so the recipient can grow a plant from something that would otherwise be thrown away.

“We really want to spread the idea of a sustainability culture in our school,” said fellow Posie pusher Amie Chatterton.

The group said it now has its business production model down pat and is pushing its message in the community.

“Everything we are trying to do revolves around taking something that wouldn’t have otherwise had a purpose,” Chaplin said.


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First published by HB Today. Click here to read the full article.