Programmes for schools

The need to educate and inspire the next generation of Tidy Kiwis is at the heart of what we do. Environmental initiatives in schools are key to helping make this happen, by starting conversations, engaging kids and building a sense of community. We offer a variety of environmental education programmes for children of all ages to teach our kids the importance of caring for and protecting our environment.


Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools programme operated internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

With a focus on action-based learning, Eco-Schools is the ideal way for schools to embark on a meaningful path towards improving the environment in their school and local community.

The programme encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it and schools are ultimately rewarded with the opportunity to become a Green Flag school – an internationally recognised status.

Young Reporters for the Environment Litter Less Programme

Young Reporters for the Environment Litter Less Programme (YRE) is an international programme currently running in 45 countries.

This environmental education programme is run through schools and empowers young people, between the ages of 11-25 years old, to report on local environmental issues through the media of writing, photography or video.

Students are also asked to link their projects to one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate Ready Classrooms

Help to create Aotearoa’s next generation of carbon literate ambassadors.

Our Climate Ready Classrooms programme introduces learners to the key concepts surrounding climate change and empowers learners to take climate action.

Climate Ready Classrooms is a series of workshops designed with NZ Curriculum in mind that explore the issues of climate change in an engaging and motivating way.

Mizuiku Upstream Battle

Did you know that 80% of marine litter globally starts life on land?

Our Upstream Battle citizen science programme aims to get students and volunteers across the country collecting litter at key upstream sites, such as rivers, lakes and streams to provide a better understanding of the root causes of ocean pollution.

This environmental education programme links to the New Zealand Curriculum. Data collected as part of this programme will contribute to both national and international research.

Backyard Battle

Our Backyard Battle citizen science programme gets students, teachers, volunteers and other citizen scientists out collecting litter at key inland sites, such as public recreational spaces, highways and railways, car parks, residential, retail and industrial sites to help create a better understanding of litter’s pathway across our land.

Data collected as part of this programme will contribute to both national and international research.

Clean Up Week

Each year we hold our annual Clean Up Week. This is Aotearoa’s biggest clean up event, and takes place every spring.

In 2023, we had 67,200 volunteers register to take part in 627 clean up events across Aotearoa. Volunteers collected a total of 652 tonnes of waste over an area equivalent to 5,728 rugby fields.

This is a great opportunity to get your school together to participate in New Zealand’s largest clean up event.

Resene Wall Worthy Competition

Our Resene Wall Worthy Competition gives early childhood centres, schools and youth groups the opportunity to create a large-scale artwork which communicates an environmental message that their student’s feel passionate about.

Let your students’ creativity create environmental awareness and teach your tamariki the importance of Keeping New Zealand Beautiful by getting them involved in creating the design and bringing it to life!

Winning submissions receive a $750 Resene paint voucher, drop cloth/s and high vis vest/s to help them bring their design to life.

A range of classroom resources are also available to help incorporate the planning, design and creation of the mural art into your classroom learning.

Kai Garden Competition

Our Kai Gardens Competition is a great way for tamariki aged 3-13 years to develop a greater understanding of the natural world and to gain hands-on experience building a small kai or rongoā garden for their school.

This is a valuable way for tamariki to learn how easy it is to reduce their environmental footprint by growing their own food, cooking seasonally and composting food and garden waste.

Ten winning schools will each receive $250 worth of Resene paint vouchers, plus $500 to put towards building a garden that beautifies and enhances their grounds, and a further $500 on completion to put towards its ongoing care.

Kai Connections

Kia Connections is a fun, easy and educational way for students, whānau and friends to demonstrate commitment to kai pai (good food) and kai mo te pai (food for good) by coming together to share in an environmentally friendly picnic.

Gather your pupils together to share in a delicious picnic to mark the end of term or school year and teach students the importance of locally sourced ingredients and healthy food.

By registering for Kai Connections you’ll gain access to our resource pack, which includes everything you need to know to organise your own Kai Connections picnic. Plus, for schools we have resources which help you link Kai Connections to the New Zealand School Curriculum and Sustainable Development Goals.

Kiki Kiwi & Friends Litter Less Programme

Our Kiki Kiwi Litter Less Programme educates student aged 5-11-years old about the importance of ‘Doing the Right Thing’. This programme has been developed in line with the New Zealand Curriculum.

The programme consists of six inquiry questions and is delivered by teachers over 12 lesson and three themes: defining litter, understanding litter, actions.

Beautiful Awards

The Beautiful Awards are run annually and act as a bench mark for environmental excellence. Each year we celebrate everyone and everything from young legends, sustainable schools, community environmental initiation, and best towns and cities – right through to best street and best loo!

Find out the key dates for our school programmes and competitions.