Posted by: Wisnu | January 29, 2018

Island School Students: Researching, Questioning, Sharing, Filming, Supporting and… Donating!

 
A group of students from Island School, with the support of staff, especially Mr Ross Burrough, carried out an investigation into palm oil. They are now in the process of completing a documentary they made. They also decided to raise funds to support Masarang HK!
The group, with great leadership from Anya Saunders, planned and worked well. In addition to carrying out the research,  they organised a number of meetings and interviews with Masarang HK, as well as arranged a Skype with Dr Willie Smits.
We are very pleased with their interest in the palm oil industry as well as their kind support for our projects. We are hoping to show the documentary, if possible, when it is finished! They worked hard to sell the Masarang HK bracelets, support items from Mr Burrough, as well as their own delicious ‘no palm oil’ Nutella-equivalent, and cashew nut spread. The have included the recipes below, for all the lucky readers!
Thank you to all staff and parents, for the help given, and a big thank you to the group for raising $1630. The team decided that it would like to have 100 sugar palms planted with these funds.
We were pleased to help and we are very grateful for the kind donation for sugar palm planting.
Masarang HK Volunteers

My group only heard about palm oil earlier this year, because of the recent palm oil spill in Hong Kong waters. After learning about this, we did more research into palm oil, and discovered how horrible it is for the environment. We were all surprised that we’d never heard about this before, and after sending out a survey, we discovered very few people at our school knew about this issue. We decided we had to do something about it.

One thing we decided to do was to make a documentary about palm oil and how it’s harmful to the environment. We did research into palm oil to write a script and voiceover for the documentary, but to make it better we thought we should also add in some interviews. We contacted Ms. Adrienne Watson, a volunteer with Masarang HK, for help. She helped us arrange a Skype interview with Dr. Willie Smits, where we were able to ask him more in depth questions about palm oil. This interview was really useful to our documentary, and it was very interesting to speak to Willie about palm oil.

Our target audience to educate about palm oil was adults with buying power, since they can make decisions about what groceries and such are bought. A lesser target was their children, since they can teach their families about palm oil. After some research and thought, we came up with a good way to target these audiences. Every year Island school has a Winter Fair, which is always a big shopping event, with stalls available for students and teachers to run. Since this event lets us target adults with buying power, we decided to apply for a stall at this fair.

We decided to to sell a number of different things at the fair. We contacted Ms. Watson, again, and in addition to generally giving us advice and help, she provided us with some rattan and silicone bracelets to sell at the fair. One of our teachers, Mr. Burrough, also had some leftover Masarang bracelets and T-shirts from another fair, so he gave them to us to sell. After hearing how successful palm oil free nutella has been at other school fairs, we decided to make our own version of that to sell. We tested recipes and ended up making 100 jars of palm oil free nutella and chocolate peanut butter between the 6 of us.

Aside from products to sell, we also got a number of promotional materials and decorations, including a number of leaflets again provided to us by Ms. Watson, and several large photos taken by Mr. Burrough. We also designed and made a few informational posters about palm oil and what Masarang does.

On the 2nd of December, we set up the stall and started welcoming customers. We had lots of people coming up to us at the stall, asking about the pictures, reading the posters and leaflets, and asking about the bracelets and chocolate spreads. Over the 4 hours there, we managed to sell quite a few bracelets and most of our jars of chocolate spreads.

We managed to make over a thousand dollars at the fair, and continued to take more orders for the chocolate spreads over Facebook. In total, we managed to raise $1630 HKD. The money we raised will go to Masarang to help fund growing more sugar palms, which will help prevent palm oil plantations from being built. Jaeho: I learnt how even students can make a difference if we try hard. I didn’t think we’d be able to do much, but we did, so that’s cool.

Hamish: I learnt many things from the Masarang project including, how palm oil is an extremely serious problem and one that needs action taken against it. I was extremely unaware of how big a problem it was until I researched into the issue.

Over the project, my whole group has learnt a lot about palm oil and what we can do to decrease its impacts. This has made us more capable to avoid palm oil in our own purchases and buy things that support the environment instead. Our project has also helped people we know at school, as well as anyone who visited our stall, become more aware of palm oil. Our group is really happy we could help make such a positive impact on the environment, and we will be sure to continue buying products without palm oil to continue supporting the environment.

Palm oil free Chocolate Peanut Butter

 Ingredients:

  • 8 oz peanuts (2 cups)
  • 2.4 oz sunflower oil (6 tablespoons)     
  • 4.5 oz powdered sugar (¾ cups)
  • 2.5 oz cocoa (¾ cups)
  1. Blend the peanuts until smooth. This will take a while. Probably around 10 minutes. Test it and see if there are any chunks. Don’t rush it. Do not add oil until it’s smooth with no chunks. Scrape the sides of the blender so everything is thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and the oil. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Add in the cocoa powder and mix until combined.
  4. Scoop or pour into a container.

Makes about 15oz of spread

Palm oil free Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz hazelnuts (1 cup)
  • 4 oz cashews (1 cup)
  • 2.4 oz sunflower oil (6 tablespoons)
  • 4.5 oz powdered sugar (¾ cups)
  • 2.5 oz cocoa (¾ cups)
  1. Blend the hazelnuts and cashews until smooth. This will take a while. Probably around 10 minutes. Test it and see if there are any chunks. Don’t rush it. Do not add oil until it’s smooth with no chunks. Scrape the sides of the blender so everything is thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and the oil. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Add in the cocoa powder and mix until combined.
  4. Scoop or pour into a container.

Makes about 15oz of spread


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