Sustainability Group Update - Trees

By Michael Crosson | Posted: Wednesday August 26, 2020

Well recognised, easy to identify, friends of man, guardians of nature.

I can speak of their uses, practicality, and general goodness for page after page. And I would if I could. But the powers at be have specifically asked that I bring to your attention the dangers these rather prevalent organisms are facing. So I shall.

Most of you will have heard various rumours about logging, rainforests burning, and vegetable oils all scheming to bring down jungles and the like, and hopefully you are concerned. For those of you who insist on using the finest palm oil for Aunty Sue’s special beef satay on Friday nights, then you may say that; “Well, the Amazon is rather large, a few plantations won’t do any harm.” And you would be correct. But like all good things on this earth, the Amazon does happen to be finite. And if everyone had this opinion then our surplus of palm oil and beef satays would skyrocket along with the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

So what can we do?

At Otago Boys' High School, the Sustainability Group is focused on trying to do our bit around Dunedin. This mainly consists of maintaining the balance of native flora and fauna, primarily focused on the Town Belt, which is in very close proximity to our school. What does that look like, you ask?

An example of this can be seen as the Kaitiaki Project, which was a co-school collaboration where students had numerous sessions in the Town Belt cleaning, trapping, planting. Hands-on working bees are where we put in the most work, protecting, nurturing and cultivating our own backyard.

So again, how does this tie into the topic of trees? All feeble attempts at humour aside, trees, big or small, are vital to our global ecosystems in maintaining the fragile balance we call life. We all need to know, should know of the importance they play on this little blue dot we call Earth, and what better place to start than in New Zealand? I’m not saying we all need to go out and start planting trees or chaining ourselves to the nearest pinus radiata, but just be willing to learn, share and grow your openness to the subject. 

The Sustainability Group at Otago Boys' High School is determined in making our community greener, greater and brighter, and that starts with a change of attitude. So, when you go to buy that vegetable oil in the shop or ignore the news article that makes you feel uncomfortable because you see suffering orangutans, stop and think. Maybe you can help as well.

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