Environment360 has held the fifth edition of its annual Float Your Boat competition which doubles as a fundraiser for the non-governmental organization.
The event themed: “The Race for Sustainability” was held on April 27, 2019, at the University of Ghana poolside.
‘Float Your Boat’ is Environment360’s innovative annual fundraiser and competition which creates environmental education programs for school children in coastal and urban regions as well as raise awareness about environmental issues in Ghana.
The competition allows teams of five to build boats made from plastic bottles and race them in order to raise funds for our environmental education programs.
It also helps students discover fun ways to reuse their plastic waste through sports and entertainment, thereby reducing the amount of waste we generate in our environment which ends up in the landfill.
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Eleven schools participated in the competition this year, comprising seven public schools, three private schools and an Accra-based community school.
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Thanks to @environment360 for coming to my house and helping me recycle these plastics and paper bags I’ve been storing. Ideally we should all try to refuse plastics when there’s an alternative but when there isn’t , don’t throw what you use away, store it and have @environment360 come and recycle it for you. We have a long way to go to reverse all the damage we’ve caused by excessively using plastics, but we can begin by refusing, reusing and recycling. #refusereducereuserecycle #♻️
The seven public schools are Kotobabi 1&2 Primary, Kotobabi 2 JHS, Kotobabi 3 Basic, Rev Thomas Clegg Methodist 1 Basic School, Kwabenya Atomic Basic 1&2 Primary, Kwabenya Atomic Basic 3&4 primary and Kwabenya M/A Basic 5. The private schools are Al Rayan International School, LAS Liberty International School and Lincoln Community School.
The competition tasked students to create plastic boats using 80% recyclable materials and 20% non- recyclable materials.
At the end of the competition, Kotobabi 2 JHS with the team name ‘Green Voyage’, emerged winners of the 5th Annual Float Your Boat Competition. Al Rayan International School with team name ‘Drowning Eagles’ placed second and ‘Plastic Surgeons’ of Liberty American School placed third.
A tutor of Kotobabi 2 JHS, Mr Nasiru, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Environment360 for the opportunity to explore their talents and also save the environment.
“I was very my school participated and won the 5th annual Float Your Boat competition. It was very interesting and challenging using plastic bottles to build a boat. It made us creative and also reduced the menace of plastic waste in our environment. We are grateful to Environmewnt360 for this opportunity,” Mr Nasiru said.
"It is fulfilling to know that the essence of the competition was not lost. In the end, students and teachers acknowledged they contributed to save the environment from plastic waste".
The Executive Director for Environment360, Ms Cordie Aziz, stressed the importance of the competition.
She said it challenges and empowers students to practice what they are taught about the environment and science in class.
“We typically organize this competition every year and this is the 5th annual competition. It’s the first time it’s been extended to public schools and we are glad one out of the 7 public schools won the first position. We look forward to expanding next year and having more schools joining the race for sustainability,” she said.
The float was supported by Fanmilk, NADMO, Oiltanking, RePatrn, DOW Chemicals, CH Business Consulting, Kidcity, Footprints Africa, Skin Gourmet and the Sports Directorate of the University of Ghana.
Started in November of 2013 and formalized in December of 2014, the Organization helps communities harness the full value of their waste streams by creating community, corporate and school recycling programs.
The organization also specializes in creating indigenous education programs. The organization works with community members to create tailored recycling programs that fit the needs, culture and values of the community it serves.
The organization has built a solid reputation during the past five years and has had the opportunity to work with partners such as Fan Milk, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dow Chemicals.
In 2016 the organization was named the recycling coordinator for the city of Accra by the AMA Solid Waste Department and now currently supports the AMA school recycling program by providing education and collection of recyclable materials.
The organization received a special mention at the 1st Green Ghana Awards and Expo in 2016 and was the UNICEF Reach for Change Winner in 2015.