Young entrepreneurs focus on the environment

Year 8 student Otis Murphy will be selling his upcycled products at the MAC trade day next week. Photo by Derek Murphy

Next Tuesday 3 December from 4:30pm-7pm, year 8 students from Mount Aspiring College will be hosting their annual ‘Trade Day’ open to the Upper Clutha community. In the past, this event has been closely tied with sweets, junk food, and excessive plastic packaging, but this year’s students have been challenged to make their products environment and health friendly. This idea piggybacked off of the year group’s topic study of ‘consumers and producers’ which taught students that both as consumers and/or producers we have the responsibility to be sustainable in our product choices, Following the school strike for climate marches, the students knew that the 2019 trade day had to be different than before. 

“Previous trade days would be full of lollies, junk food, and plastic wrapping. It didn’t sit well with me because I knew in my heart it was not good for the environment,” said student Otis Murphy (pictured) who, along with business partners Tai Treadwell-Burke and Jack Humphries-Ladbrook, will be selling their cushions made of old shirts at the trade day.  “We sourced most of our products from Wastebusters and our own unused resources,” said Murphy. 

The students were given the brief: create a product that can be made sustainably or that is healthy for the consumer. Ideally, both. Everything from the product’s packaging to advertising has to fulfill this criterion. According to Erin Hurley, one of the teachers leading the initiative, “Initially, students found this limiting. Soon, however, they began to tap into their Kiwi ingenuity and come up with ideas that were not only creative but also sustainable.”

Other products being old at the trade day include Christmas trees, cordials, candles in used cans, bath bombs, bracelets, lip balms, scrunchies, and other creative products right in time for the holiday season. 


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