Sustainability In Our School

2019 is a year of many changes but one thing we want to remain consistent throughout the school and activities is the emphasis on sustainability. We want to avoid to tokenism, we want sustainability to permeate everything we do. We now have 96 solar panels on the roofs of buildings, the new buildings have double glazed windows, plenty of insulation and are north facing ensuring plenty of comfort and less reliance on resource use. The materials we use are natural materials of high quality and we try to minimise paper usage, stressing the use of reusable and recyclable materials. Any food scraps are fed to the chickens, the worms receive coffee grounds and shredded paper. We support two bee hives and the Biodynamic farming methods we use ensure our garden produces high quality, nutritious fruit and vegetables. The lunches prepared in our kitchen are made using as much produce from our gardens as possible.

 As parents, you can support the school and the future of our planet by making the return to school as gentle on the Earth’s resources as possible. Here are some top tips from Sustainability Victoria that we have slightly amended.

1. LUNCHES

Get the kids to make their own lunch and use containers suited to nude food which eliminates the need for plastic or aluminium foil wrapping. If you do need to wrap, reusable beeswax wraps may be used instead of plastic. Find out about how to make them online or buy them at our local health food shops. Consider buying a lunchbox that lasts for your child’s whole schooling journey. Water bottles can be frozen to keep lunches fresh in summer. Some people use a thermos as a year-round way to keep liquids (like drinks and yogurt which you can decant from a larger container) at a constant temperature. Encourage your children to use the school’s compost bins or bring home their scraps for yours.

2. MAKE YOUR OWN SNACKS

Despite what they say, many kids have plenty of time on their hands. Teach them to make their own muesli bars and other snacks. Be patient. It’s a life skill.

3. GET MORE VALUE

Use the Love Food Hate Waste website to get great recipes to use last night’s leftovers in exciting ways for school (and work) lunches.

4. COFFEE

If you or your teenagers are in the habit of buying a cuppa before or after school, a ‘keep cup’ is a good investment.

5. STATIONARY

Save money by digging out pens, pencils and other consumables from drawers, cupboards and bags rather than buying new ones. Many stationery makers have a range of notebooks made from recycled paper. Green collect sells recycled stationery and other excess office supplies from businesses.

6. UNIFORMS

Our school doesn’t have a uniform but requires students to wear clothing without logos preferably made from natural fibre. Try to use recycled clothing, organise clothing swaps, buy from Op Shops or buy from ethical t-shirt manufacturers. Limit the amount of clothing your child has and buy a laundry marker to label your child’s clothing – helps with keeping a track of lost property.

7. MUSIC

Teachers can often bridge the gap between an instrument sitting unused on a bedroom shelf and a student. You can often get a better-quality instrument this way, rather than paying more for new.

8. TRANSPORT

Walking or riding to school is a great way to stay fit. It saves fuel, reduces vehicle pollution and traffic jams at the school gate. Otherwise park a short distance from the school and walk with the kids and use it as an opportunity to teach road rules. Catching the bus or carpooling is often an option, too.

9. FURNITURE

Buying a desk, bookcase or filing cabinet? Second-hand office furniture shops often have very modern goods at a much better price than new and they will last.

10. GET THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY INVOLVED

Our school is a Resource Smart School. We encourage individuals, families and the entire school community to work together and act to preserve the planet.

We are making a very determined effort to minimise our waste and to make all students respectful of their own belongings and the limited resources of the world.