Environmental action project at Great Barrier Island

Recently during our final long programme of the year, an exciting project was completed. Students from Hillcrest and Trident High schools, have been helping to build a bottle brick bench in the shape of one of the island’s very special inhabitants- the chevron skink.

The chevron skink is one of New Zealand's rarest and most secretive lizards. It is listed as 'nationally vulnerable' under DOC’s Threat Classification System. They are currently only known to be found on Great and Little Barrier Islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

The chevron skink is one of New Zealand’s rarest and most secretive lizards. It is listed as ‘nationally vulnerable’ under DOC’s Threat Classification System.
They are currently only known to be found on Great and Little Barrier Islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

Over the past 2 years every student that has visited the centre has participated in creating one of these bottle bricks.  Plastic is stuffed into a 1.5L plastic bottle and then compressed down with a bamboo stick until it is rock solid. The process not only reduces the amount of rubbish heading to the island’s increasingly full landfill, but also helps educate students on waste management and minimisation.

After careful planning and a solid foundation laid, complete bottle bricks were piled upon each other along with a layer of concrete to make it weatherproof. The bench now sits at a beautiful viewpoint above Orama on the edge of the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary. It is already attracting a lot of attention and is a great discussion point to have with students. We regularly walk past it on our way to visit the sanctuary or when heading to our local rock climbing crag.

Bottle Brick production is still in full swing and we hope to build another bench in the local community, to continue to share, inspire and educate others about the environment. As a centre we are on a constant journey of developing resources to support this passion.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better it’s not” The Lorax.

Hillary Outdoors GBI_bottle bricks environmental actionHillary Outdoors GBI environmental action