Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that aims to make people more aware of plastic pollution, and the things they can do to reduce it. This includes you! You can take the Plastic Free Challenge at home or at school to help get you started, check out some of our tips below, or borrow some of the awesome books listed below from your local library.

Posters are available to download on

What can I do at home?

  • Talk to your family and get everyone on board with reducing plastic consumption
  • Set out your ideas and suggestions on the fridge!
  • Learn to bake! Home-baked snacks are way yummier (and cheaper) than bought ones anyway 🙂
  • Think twice about single-use bottled water and fruit juices
  • Use soap and shampoo bars instead of liquid soaps and shampoos
  • Reduce the amount of things you buy, reuse what you have to, and recycle what you no longer need. Think to yourself before you buy “Do I really need this?”
  • Take better care of your clothes, swap with friends, or get excited about hand-me-downs! Did you know that many of our clothes contain plastics like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide? In fact most new fabrics are made of plastic – up to 64% of them. The thing is, every time we wash these materials they shed millions of plastic microfibres into our drains which ultimately end up in our waterways, lakes and oceans.

What can I do at School?

  • Try to bring people together and create a team to look at how your school can reduce plastic consumption.
  • Get both students and teachers on board, you never know who might be concerned!
  • Start small by looking at the simple changes you can make. For example, take your lunch to school in a reusable container and bring reusable cutlery
  • Try to empower others by sharing positive solutions rather than just identifying the problems!

“As a future guardian of the planet, you can say no to plastic. Your actions, however small, can make a big difference every day. Are you up to the challenge?” — Aubre Andrus, “The Plastic Problem

Plastic planet / Amson-Bradshaw, Georgia
“Plastic Planet offers young readers a non-alarmist introduction to Earth’s plastic crisis. Plastic pollution is now found in every environment on Earth, from the deepest oceans to the driest deserts and the most remote ice sheets. Plastic Planet offers readers aged 8 and up a look at plastic through the ages, exploring what it is, how it’s made and how we have become so dependent on it in a single-use, disposable world. It highlights the social inequality of plastic pollution and explores how plastic has become a widespread and dangerous pollutant that is inextricably linked to climate change. The book looks ahead to possible solutions to our plastic crisis, from global changes such as changing people’s mindsets, to innovations such as compostable plastics, to practical solutions such as recycling and bottle return schemes.” (Catalogue)

Kids vs. plastic : ditch the straw and find the pollution solution to bottles, bags, and other single-use plastics : how you can be a waste warrior! / Beer, Julie
“Jam-packed with surprising information about plastic’s effect on the environment, plus loads of practical ways kids can cut down on their plastic footprint, this is the kids guide to being part of the pollution solution!”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The plastic problem : 60 small ways to reduce waste and save the Earth / Andrus, Aubre
“Look around you–plastic is everywhere! It’s in your shoes, pens, toothbrush, car, toys, TV, water bottles, food packaging… It’s almost impossible to get through one day without using it. And it’s creating major problems for our world, our oceans, our animals and marine life, and ourselves. In The Plastic Problem, from the team that brought you 101 Small Ways to Save the World, you’ll learn how to become a ‘plastic patroller’ instead of a plastic polluter by learning about the easy ways you can cut plastic out of your life. The simple actions found in this practical guide will help you protect our world and inspire your friends and family to do the same. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

Kids fight plastic / Dorey, Martin
“Have you got 2 minutes? That’s all the time it takes to become a #2minutesuperhero. Plastic is everywhere. It is in the rivers and it is in the sea. We need superheroes to fight plastic and help save our oceans.” (Catalogue)

Further ideas to help you explore a clean, green future!

ZEALANDIA ECOSANCTUARY– This is what’s called a ‘mainland island’ in the heart of Wellington. Predator-proof fencing has meant that the native wildlife and plants can thrive as it should to maintain Aotearoa’s wonderful biodiversity. Every visit is a new adventure, AND in July kids get free entry into this natural wonderland!
Plastics and glass can take up to 400 years to break down in the sea, and our poor oceans are getting clogged with this pollution. You could organise your own beach clean up with friends, family or your school; or maybe you could volunteer to help with an organised event. There are some great websites to inspire you to get beach cleaning and help you get organised:

Kia kaha, and thank you from Mother Earth!

WOW: World of Wearable Art 2019.


The world of wearable arts (WOW) has returned to Wellington and this year will be celebrating it’s 30th year of bedazzling audiences in New Zealand with their magic and ingenuity.

What is WOW?

WOW is an internationally renowned design competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries. Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed.

For three weeks every year, WOW showcases the best of these creations in a spectacular show that takes over New Zealand’s vibrant capital city of Wellington in an explosion of creativity. This year WOW is on from 26 September to 13 October.

To celebrate WOW, Wellington City Libraries has some amazing non fiction that can guarantee you creating your own wearable arts award event!


Wearable wonders.

“An introduction to the World of Wearable Art Awards with history and examples, interviews, photographs etc., in a workbook which details how to make your own Wearable Art creation using various art and craft techniques”–Publisher information. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.

Renowned author-illustrator Fifi Colston shares her years of expereince in the visual and wearable arts in this new book where you will learn how to WOW the world with your very own wearable wonder using simple objects such as petals, shells, cardboard, old cans and drink bottles that can be showcased in the world of  wearable arts awards or used as a costume, prop, landscape, weapon and even a creature on stage and in the film industry. A great resource to use and read if you are doing a school/drama production and/or consideirng a career in fashion, set and costume design.


Ghoulish get-ups.

Time to get some inspiration and ideas for Halloween costumes! Check out Fifi Colston’s Ghoulish get-ups!

Fifi Colston shares her years of experience in costuming and the wearable arts. Crammed with tricky tips and terrifying techniques for making an outrageous outfit for any occasion, especially Halloween



Out of the box.

Recycle household cardboard into incredible art projects that you can wear, share, and play with. Learn how to build and decorate more than 25 amazing creations, including costumes and castles, gifts and games, puppets and pirate ships.




Make it! : don’t throw it away – create something amazing!

Help your child turn trash into things that make you go WOW. Over 100 crafty step-by-step projects will have your child turning humble household rubbish into amazing treasures you’ll want to keep. Watch them create jewellery from paper, flower pots from plastic bottles and shoulder bags from old jeans. Packed with facts on earth’s natural resources and tips on recycling too.




Crafts for styling your wardrobe.

This is a craft series with a twist. Learn how to makeover your room, revamp your wardrobe, make your own natural beauty products and style your accessories while considering the environment and taking steps to make your own change with your eco-style!




Utterly gorgeous fashion.

This is the perfect book for girls and teens with a passion for all things stylish. Stacks of sensational fashions to make, from customizing and up-styling old clothes with cool prints, tie-dying and stencils, to creating fabulous accessories, such as fascinators, Katy Perry style sunglasses and the ultimate designer handbags.




Cardboard creations : open-ended exploration with recycled materials.

Provides instructions for creating art projects using recycled materials, such as cardboard boxes and old jars and containers.

New non-fiction: books for younger readers

First illustrated Science dictionary

This is a great little book for younger readers who are curious about how the world works. It’s beautifully illustrated, and the information is presented in a clear, simple way.  It talks about everything from cells to the stars, and is a great introduction to scientific concepts.






Black Holes

If the Illustrated Science dictionary has sparked your interest in black holes, this is the book you want to read next.  It’s simple, clear and if you get stuck, there’s a glossary of words at the back.  Plus there are some great pictures that take you through how Black Holes work.




African Myths and Legends

All cultures tell amazing stories about the past. This is a great little collection of myths and legends from all African cultures.  Gods, heroes and trickster spirits all have their own special stories, depending on where they come from. If you liked this book, you could check out other myths in our collection.






Make it!

If you like crafts and want to save the planet, this book is filled with awesome projects that will help you do just that. All of these are pretty easy, but very fun, so you probably won’t need Mum or Dad looking over your shoulder when you make toys out of odd socks or rocket ships from milk bottles.






Welcome to your awesome Robot

This book is a lot like Make it! except you’ve got one project to focus on; making a robot costume out of an old cardboard box. Sounds boring? Well, it isn’t. There’s plenty of ideas here about how to customise your ‘robot’ as well as a cool comic strip showing how a kid (with a bit of help from Mum) made theirs. It’s not your average craft book.






What exciting things can be found beneath the sea? Mankind has been sailing the seas for centuries; but occasionally, things go wrong, and all sorts of ships end up on the ocean floor. It’s not just about the treasure; shipwrecks






I read a great book recently called Recycled, by Sandy McKay.  What’s really good about it is that it tells you all kinds of interesting facts about the environment.  For example, did you know that:

  • Recycling aluminium cans uses 95% less energy than making new ones…?
  • There are 500 million cars on this planet…? Yuk, think about all that pollution!
  • Fifty acres of rainforest are destroyed every minute (I wonder what happens to all the animals that live there?)…?
  • More than one billion trees are cut down every year to make disposable nappies…?
  • Each year most families throw away 1.5 tonnes of rubbish (that’s the same weight as half an elephant!)…?

If you want to find out how you can help the planet check out


Have you ever stopped to think how long it takes for things to rot or decompose?
· Aluminium cans – 200 to 500 years
· Glass bottles – 1000 years
· Tin cans – 100 years
· Disposable nappies – 75 years
· Plastic bottles/Styrofoam/polystyrene – NEVER!
That is such a scary thought, especially since all of these things (except disposable nappies) can be recycled.

Did you know that heaps of litter ends up in the sea, and can kill or hurt sea animals and birds?  I once heard of a dolphin that ate a tiny piece of plastic, which got stuck in its stomach.  The plastic stopped the dolphin from eating – and this is really sad – he died of starvation.

So make sure you and your family recycle all your paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and cans – and throw everything else into a bin – DON’T EVER LITTER!

The library has heaps of books and web pages on recycling, just ask a librarian to show you where to find them, or check out 363.72 in the junior non-fiction section of the library.

Worms are way cool

Worms are way cool…  They can eat all your family’s food scraps, and the worm wee and poo they make can be used in the garden (it’s really good for the plants). If you don’t believe me why not try it out for yourself…  All you have to do is to make or buy a worm farm and some Tiger or red worms. But be warned! Worms don’t like spicy food, onions or citrus fruits.  And don’t believe the story that if you cut a worm in half it will grow into two worms – wrong, you’ll just be left with one dead worm!A worm farm would be a great hobby or class project, you should ask your teacher to take a look at this website. It tells you all you need to know about worm farms… And check out page 33 of This Book is a Load of Rubbish by Deborah Burnside for how to make a worm farm.