Young marathoners turn green sculptors

By DG Staff

DUBAI 1 February 2019: Students teamed up with educators at Dubai’s indoor bio-dome last week for an innovative recycling scheme which saw recyclable materials discarded during the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon turned into an art installation at The Green Planet.

Staff from The Green Planet, which is home to more than 3,000 exotic animals and plants, worked alongside children to help collect plastic bottles and other recyclables during the iconic running race help on Friday 24th January.

The following morning, The Green Planet hosted an inter-school’s competition challenging children to build artistic sculptures from recycled materials, including items collected during the marathon. The two-day initiative was part of The Green Planet’s commitment to raising awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the eco-system among young people in the UAE.

Victoria Lynn, General Manager – Leisure & Entertainment said: “The Green Planet was proud to host this fun and interactive educational competition, teaching local students the importance of recycling and looking after the sustainability of our planet.

“Our mission at The Green Planet is to inspire & educate the next generation therefore we are always looking for ways to raise sustainability awareness in the region. We are excited to be launching more eco-friendly initiatives and programs for 2020.”

The Green Planet’s participation in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was in partnership with the Bank and a host of schools based in Dubai. Standard Chartered Bank sponsored 50 students aged 7-14 from Dubai schools to run the Fun Run on the sidelines of the marathon at this year’s event.

Following a topical “Run for the Planet” theme, the students, proudly displayed The Green Planet runner’s t-shirts and race packs and were joined by educators with senior staff from Standard Chartered Bank.

Unlike the competitive athletes, the hard work did not end at the finishing line. After the race, students and educators collected materials from the recycling bins, taking them back to The Green Planet for processing ahead of part two of the initiative.

The Green Planet’s School Recycled Sculpture Competition featured dozens of eco-ambassadors nominated by schools all over Dubai. Teams were given 90 minutes to build a stunning sculpture following the theme “Australian Wildlife” using recycled materials they collected over the previous weeks, plus items from the Marathon. Raising awareness about the Australia wildlife, children were creative, crafting sculptures representing snakes, sharks and a series of other animals native to the land down under.

All students taking part received free entrance into The Green Planet and a 20 per cent discount on its Zookeeper for the Day program – an experience that offers primarily children aged between 9 and 16 years the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the bio-dome’s fascinating wildlife and shadow a biologist for the day.

Meanwhile, the winning school’s team received free tuition into the third semester of The Green Planet Academy, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, the unique educational program is designed to teach children important lessons about animals, science and the environment, plus the opportunity to unlock future career potentials and get a taste of what life behind the scenes of The Green Planet is really like. The 10-week program aimed for youngsters aged 7 – 14 years involves exciting animal interactions and fun educational sessions and eco-friendly adventures.

The Green Planet aims to lead by example when it comes to environmental sustainability and will make a series of eco-friendly announcements in 2020. In the pipeline are plans to generate solar energy, the banning of single use plastics, an innovative recycling hub, and installation of a green house.

Dubai Gazette