Saturday, 21 July 2018

For the Future Greenhouse 2.0!

After almost a year on from the initial construction of our very first greenhouse, we have moved and started reconstruction on a existing structure. This time there were efforts from everyone in our community, from staff contributing plastic bottles, to caretakers giving us advice and ex students coming back in to help out, this build truly was a school wide effort. We started on Thursday, Week 10 of Term 2, 2018. Prior to this day, the caretakers helped us put the existing plastic bottle stakes from Greenhouse 1.0 onto the Greenhouse 2.0 so a BIG shout out to them! The team were also cleaning and sorting bottles out throughout the term as the community continued to contribute bottles. Once the construction of the new greenhouse is completed, we intend to plant fruits and vegetables in it. This will be our contribution towards the breakfast/lunch club at Alfriston College. We hope that this will help promote the idea of recycling wastes as well as healthy eating with the organic vegetables that will be grown in the greenhouse.  Final Dimensions of Greenhouse 2.0:
6m x 3m x 2m

Early efforts by the caretakers in helping us put up the existing plastic bottle stakes from Greenhouse 1.0.

On day 1, the team were split into respective delegations: cutting plastic bottles, cutting stakes, assembling and nailing plastic bottle stakes and the assembly of the double doors. This ensured efficiency as everyone had a task to do throughout the day. This time around we had access to power tools for cutting the plastic bottles. Under the supervision of learning leader Ms Trisha Munthree, learners were able to use power tools to cut plastic bottles, which sped up the process, making it almost a hundred times faster and more efficient than last year. Since the gap for the door on the new greenhouse is larger than Greenhouse 1.0, we had to make double doors, as the weight of one overly large door would not have held up well. The task of building two doors was a great challenge, but nothing too big for experts Didar and Brian since gaining experience from the first door they built for Greenhouse 1.0. Day 1 was a successful day of building, with the weather holding up nicely. We got most of the walls done up and the doors almost finished.

Ex-learners Zaid and Moses nailing up the plastic bottle stakes.
In the greenhouse, planter boxes that will be used to plant fruits and vegetables
within the greenhouse.

 Learning Leader Ms Trisha Munthree giving
     Zaid some advice on how to work effecicently.
Progress on the double doors on Day 1

On Day 2, the team wasted no time and got straight into it in the morning. Our efforts were put into assembling and nailing the plastic bottle stakes on structure as we wanted to finish the outside before the end of the day. It was a beautiful sunny day which encouraged everyone to be outside and involved. By the end of day 2, we completed the outside walls and doors. 

The team out enjoying the sun while doing some hard work.

The team being treated after 2 days of hard work.
Do the mahi, get the treats!

Kreesan looking for a place to nap after having
too much lunch.

These two days have been an absolute success! We managed to complete the basic structure of Greenhouse 2.0, which includes putting plastic bottle stakes on the 4 walls as well as putting up double doors for the entrance. Our next steps are to put a roof up and start working on the interior. We will arrange the planter boxes inside the greenhouse so that we can plant fruits and vegetables. We also have prototype planters made out of pallets that we can use to plant some herbs/plants. The target is to finish the roof and interior before Term 3, as learners will be busy with exam prep in Term 4.

For the Future Greenhouse 2.0, located beside the Kaitataki block.

For the Future group would like to give a special thank you to: Caretakers, Ex-learners, Senior management and the Alfriston College community for contributing to the success of the For the Future Greenhouse 2.0. Please help spread the word of the great work being done here in Alfriston College and South Auckland by sharing our blog and using the hashtag #forthefuture. For any queries, don't hesitate to email

Yours Sincerely, 
For the Future.


New Year, New House? (2018 Update)

At the end of Term 2, 2018, the For the Future Plastic Bottle Greenhouse 2.0 structure is 90% completed. We relocated our completed structure (1.0) by dismantling and rebuilding onto another existing structure beside the Kaitataki block. Throughout Term 1 and Term 2, we reached out to the school community for help as we needed more plastic bottles to complete the new structure. The Greenhouse 2.0 is almost twice the size of the 1.0 version, which meant that we needed a lot more plastic bottles than what we already had. This year the collector of highest number of bottles goes to Ms Mary Faave from the reprographic office, single-handedly collecting almost 200 bottles. We spent a few days throughout Term 2 cleaning and sorting the new bottles out but the bulk of the work was completed in the last two days of Term 2. More details about the construction of Greenhouse 2.0 will be in the next post, so go check it out!

We would like to thank everyone who contributed through plastic bottles because without you, we couldn't have done it! Please help spread the word of the great work being done here in Alfriston College and South Auckland by using the hashtag #forthefuture. For any queries, don't hesitate to email

Yours sincerely,
For the future.

            Greenhouse 1.0, in the original location, completed in October 2017
           Greenhouse 2.0, in the new location , started reconstruction in 2018          

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day 3 Progress

Just when we thought the weather would get better it didn't! Today would have been a typical Auckland day, with 4 seasons in the few hours we were building today. The rain and wind didn't make things easy but at least it helped us test the green house against the ever changing Auckland weather and it seems like it did well. Sadly, we did not finish the green house today. With all 4 walls put up and everything else done, all there is left to do is put the roof up. Another slight change in the plan today. We decided to change the design of the roof as we did not have enough stilts to cover the whole roof. Initially, we decided to put plastic bottle stilts (just like the walls) on the roof but we realized there was not enough stilts for us to do that, so we changed our plan and decided to use milk bottles. We would cut the milk bottles in half and attach them together to create tiles that would cover the roof without using as many stilts as the original plan. The roof is all there is left to do for the main green house. Other things such as signboards and planters etc will be sorted out later on in the term.

Behind the scenes where the tedious work gets done. The team cutting bottles and putting them onto stilts. 
Half the roof done with the chicken wire.
Skies were blue and the sun was shining but it started pouring moments after the photo was taken.

Didar finishing off the last wall.
Brian nailing the very last stilt onto the wall.

Last nail of the wall, moments before the hammer missed the nail and got Brian's finger.

Mathew, Sabeeha and Didar trying to form the milk bottle tiles.
At this stage, we still haven't decided which day we will meet up and complete the building as the team has already been working on this project for 3 days in a row. As you may know, the students are in their senior year and have other commitments to attend to. Despite this, we will definitely finish this in the near future. We are sure that the team is as excited for the completion as you are so stay tuned for updates! For inquiries, email

Yours sincerely,
For the Future.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Day 2 Progress

Yesterday was another successful day of construction although we didn't not finish as we initially planned. After day 1's progress, all there was left to do was to attach the door, reinforce the structure with metal straps, put up the plastic bottle stilts and cover up the roof. Putting the door up was one of the hardest jobs yet as it required a lot of precision and accuracy for measuring, chiseling etc. The task of putting up the door would have been impossible without the guidance of Mr Pillay so a huge thank you to him for giving up his time once again yesterday. Majority of the work was done and all we have to do know is cover up half a wall with the plastic bottle stilts and attach plastic bottle stilts to the roof. A change of plan has caused slight delay in the construction. We decided to cover the roof up with chicken wire so that it would help reinforce the structure and reduce the pressure of the plastic bottle stilts on the roof as it would be sitting on the chicken wire. Something we thought was worth sharing is that we had a group of preschool children come by and visit us. As there is a preschool/daycare right next to our school, they decided to pay us a visit as they were also learning about different ways plastic could be used. It was such a privilege to involved the young community and teach them about the environment and great things that were happening.
Zaid showing us his tradie skills.
Mr Pillay getting back to work.
Team work makes the dream work! The boys nailing the plastic bottle stilts on to the main structure.

Didar starting on the chicken wire.

Putting up the chicken wire on the roof

Mr Pillay giving the boys advice on how to put the door on.
Brian proud of his efforts on the door.. although it was a collective effort from the team. Well done!

Day 2 Progress. Front View
Completed Door
Day 2 progress. Corner/ Back view
 The team is hoping to finish off everything today as there isn't much to do. The weather yesterday wasn't that great with small showers here and there so we're hoping for better weather today. Fingers crossed!! Thanks to everyone who showed up for day 2 of the construction and thank you for everyone's support. It would be greatly appreciated if you could share our progress with your friends and family so that word will spread about the great things happening in our community. Don't forget to use the hashtag #forthefuture. Email for any inquiries or additional information.

Yours sincerely,
For the Future.

Monday, 9 October 2017


As per usual, For the Future would like to apologize for not posting an update sooner. Everything this year has been very hectic as the students are now in year 12/13 and are very busy submitting internals and trying to prepare for externals. As of today (10/9/2017), we have officially began construction of the green house! It took very long to organize the materials needed for the construction as well as experienced people to help. A special thanks to Bunnings Warehouse NZ for providing us with a building plan as well as materials for this project. On behalf of For the Future, we would also like to thank Mr Pillay, Mr Pillay Senior and Darcy for their expertise and help today. The construction of this green house would not be possible without the help of these wonderful people. Final Dimensions of the greenhouse : 3m x 3m x 2m.

Brian nailing the very first nail of the construction

Matthew fixing up a mistake the boys made

The three on the right were the experts for the day. In black- Mr Pillay, in white - Darcy, in Grey - Mr Pillay Senior.

Smile for the camera Lisa!

Reinforcing the structure and roof with strapping over the top

All hands on deck to try and build the frame up

The plastic bottles will go through a stilt which will be nailed to the structure of the green house.

Leveling out the roof so that it turns out perfect

Day 1 done and dusted. Side view

Corner view
Day 1 was definitely a success. Thank you to the members who were involved in the construction today. The green house is 60% completed with the main structure up, all there is left to do is to attach the plastic bottle stilts, cover up the roof, attach the door and it will be good to go!! It has been a long and hard journey transforming our idea into an action, but no matter the effort it is all for a better and more environmentally friendly community! For those who were with us from the start, we want to say a huge thank you for supporting us.  Any thoughts, opinions and ideas please comment down below or email

Project funded by : SouthSci - COMET Auckland

Yours sincerely,
For the Future.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


Firstly, we would like to sincerely apologize for not uploading a progress update sooner. Many of the students involved in this projects are year 12's and we have been very busy with internal assessments and extra curricular activities. We are trying our very best for the project to keep moving forward and would like to thank you for all your support and patience.

We have an action plan in place for the building of our greenhouse. The location of our building site has changed from the unused volleyball court (front of the school) to the school garden (located back of the school), this is because the purpose of the green house is to grow plants to be used by food technology, so it seemed fitting to place it there. We have cleaned and sorted out (by size) most of the bottles during the Term 1 holidays and have a draft blue print for the green house. The walls of the house will be made from milk bottles and stilts, while the roof will be made from the other types of bottles e.g. soda bottles. Currently, we cannot progress with our plan because of health & safety regulations. The original plan was to start constructing the walls of the green house during the Term 1 holidays. We didn't manage to do this because the school required us to have a professional builder there to supervise our progress (which we obviously didn't have). We have contacted a builder and await approval so that we can kick start the construction ASAP.
We measured out a 5 metres x 2 metres square and filled it with bottles to see
how many bottles we needed for one side wall. Approx. 144 bottles

Sorting out the bottles by size and shape

On the 11th of May, the For the Future team met with an Engineer from GEA Process Engineering Ltd. He is a liquid process engineer. He discussed the properties of plastics like the different types of plastics available and it's melting points. We also talked different ways to make bricks and their molds from the equipment we have. How to connect all the properties together to make a structure, and how the size of the mold affects the structural integrity of the house. Ian also recommended that we use a heated knife to melt the plastics together. Here some of the things we went over in our meeting:

  • Stamp out the excess molds from the vacuum process
  • How to connect all the properties together to make the house/ melting/snapping them together which could be hard depending on size of the molds and looking at the environment such as wind that would affect the house.
  • Recommended to weld them together with a hot knife.  
  • Company called apd plastics to help out with project.
  • How to melt the plastic and how to clear the plastic off the mold clearly, how to heat up the mold, weld steel together then put that in an oven
  • Melting point not very high - around 150 to 200 degrees. Not too high temperature
  • Buy some conventional oven then donate them to the workshops in school  
  • Might be able to talk to a guy he knows to help out with the brick molds.

If you are still following our journey of improving the environment, we would like to apologise for not updating the blog sooner enough and thank you for your support. We hope more people will spread the word about our project and the aim of it.

Yours sincerely,
For the Future.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

It has begun!

Thank you to all those who brought in plastic bottles for us to use.
The first few steps on the construction of the Green house has begun. We have begun cleaning and de-labelling the bottles.

First we rinsed out all of the plastic bottles, and then we cut off and separated the labels.
One problem we encountered was, many milk bottles that were given to us were not rinsed out properly, which over the period of 3 months stated to accumulate mold. The mold caused the plastic to excrete a foul stench. It also made it unusable for the construction of the Green House,         because the bacteria may cause problems to the crops grow inside it.

In the future of you choose to give us any more plastic bottles which previously contained milk or any other dairy products, please rinse out the contents before giving it in, so it is usable. ☺

If you have any plastic bottles that you would like to give in, please bring them to Ms. Munthree in W05. If you do not attend Alfriston College but would still like to make a contribution, please comment your email address down below or contact us at Your efforts are greatly appreciated by us and the wider community.

For the Future Group