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The SOEL competition encourages students to think about their environment. (Picture: Supplied)

It’s been a difficult past year for many and it’s going to be a bumpy road ahead, but there’s still 
plenty of things to bring a smile to your face.

Face plant

People pots, head planters, face planters – whatever you want to call them, these whimsical planters are hot right now.

Resembling a head and face from the neck or shoulders up, these small ‘bust’ statutes are adding a bit of fun to gardening, inside and out.

In a variety of styles and colours – there’s even famous heads – they come with a hollow ‘head’ for you to use your favourite plant to create ‘hair’.

Popular hair choices are succulents, ornamental grass and spider plants.

Colour co-ordinate or add a splash of colour, these pots will bring some personality to any room.

SOEL searching

Local businessman James Murphy and his team have come up with a trailblazing competition to encourage schools across Greater Geelong, Bellarine and the Surf Coast to think about their environment.

A huge prize pool of $50,000 is offered by local not-for-profit Southern Ocean Environmental Link (SOEL), in partnership with award-winning business Sea All Dolphin Swims, both founded by James.

Twenty winning schools will receive an interactive incursion where students will learn about plastics and the marine environment, and create useful items from plastic waste.

James notes that marine pollution is one of the largest factors affecting the local coastline.

“A significant amount of plastics is finding its way into our oceans, causing stress to our marine animal friends,” he said. “Scientists think that by 2050 there will be more plastics in the oceans than fish.

“This competition is as much about educating young people on the negative effects of plastics on the marine environment as it is championing their actions and fostering their enthusiasm for a major issue affecting the world today.”

Established to tackle the escalating problem of plastic pollution on the Bellarine Peninsula’s marine environment, SOEL – a registered not-for-profit organisation – works in collaboration with leading organisations to provide quality 
programs to educate tomorrow’s leaders about current trends, future implications and how to take responsibility for the place they call home.

Winners are announced this month.