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Creative kids show kindness to the planet

New Earth Club member Lillie Penhale modelling her Trash Planet Wings – which the club will be teaching others to make at Fareham Creative Space. PHOTO/EMMA McDOUGALL

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
[email protected]

A group of eco-conscious Wairarapa youngsters are planning an event they hope will be an antidote to both environmental waste and the stress of covid-19.

The New Earth Club, a children’s group dedicated upcycled art projects and raising awareness of environmental issues, is hosting a family event in Featherston – with a focus on “turning trash into treasure”.

The event, held at the Fareham Creative Space this weekend, will include outdoor craft workshops on making wearable art from “recycled bits and bobs”, followed by a fashion show.

It will conclude with a performance from dancers of various ages and abilities, representing both Tangle Community Dance Company in Featherston and StarJam.

The New Earth Club, formed last year with support from Carterton-based artist, writer, and Tangle dance teacher Justine Kingdon, is a space for young people to learn the value of upcycling – by doing art projects using items that would otherwise be headed for the landfill.

Kingdon said the children wanted to hold regular events so they could share their ethos of creativity and kindness to the environment with their peers.

“They wanted to share with others the things that matter most of them, and the experiences we have creating together,” Kingdon said.

“We also wanted to show people that, when it comes to recycling, you can be endlessly creative and artistic – while also caring for the planet.

“Plus, it’ll be a fun family day out – a great antidote to all the crappiness going on with covid. It’ll be damn gorgeous.”

The New Earth Club meets once a week at Fareham House – where members can try their hand at projects such as re-painting old furniture, making journals from recycled paper, creating abstract art from flower petals, and constructing costumes made from plastics, cardboard, and tin cans.

The children have also worked on upcycling clothes, toys and various trinkets donated by Featherston’s Op Shop.

More recently, Kingdon said the youngsters have been researching endangered New Zealand wildlife – and are brainstorming projects to help save threatened species from extinction.

“They’re so passionate about making a difference – they feel it’s their special purpose.

“These kids are tomorrow’s leaders, and we need to empower them to stand up for the things they believe in.”

At this weekend’s event, the club members will lead workshops on making “Trash Planet Wings” from a variety of recyclable materials, which the children can model in the runway show.

The dance performance from Tangle and StarJam, choreographed by Kingdon, will also have an environmental theme – focusing on the need to continue protecting the planet, even in the face of covid.

Kingdon said vaccine passes will not be required to attend the event – but, as it will be held outdoors, family bubbles will be able to socially distance.

The New Earth Club’s event will be held on Sunday, March 6, at 80 Underhill Rd. Featherston, starting at 2pm.

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