In an effort to keep the program active, creative and challenging, we have found that elements of the SS program need to be constantly reviewed and evolving – e.g. leadership initiatives, addressing ongoing waste issues.
This year, the following actions include:
- Leadership training
- Addressing the challenge of encouraging all ENPS students, staff and parents
- To continue developing environmentally sustainable practices and individual responsibility for our actions
- Engaging more parents and the wider community in SS program activities
- New crews established – water, recycling, waste – with new identification.
- Trialling new concept in worm farms – in partnership with Edendale farm
- Tour lunchtime programs for students with teacher/ parent partnership
- Establishing a school demonstration garden at Edendale via the Edible Eltham pilot project
- Incorporating SS more creatively / holistic approach
- Power of the web – regular updates, articles photos, information
- Creating art around the school to highlight SS modules
- Whole School World Environment Day
- Book launch of Environmental Poetry and Art project book’ Building Bridges’ at New Voices festival
- Whole School Water Week activities in October
- KTK conference in conjunction with Edendale/ Banyule council to link in with Nillumbik Councils’ Practically Green festival in October
ENPS SS future plans:
- Continued improvement in SS practices to reduce ENPS ecological footprint
- Providing leadership, mentoring for schools
- Working towards the establishment of an environmental education/ kitchen garden centre, involving the students, parent body and wider community.
Nude Food Day report – On Wednesday we asked everyone to bring lunches to school without any wrapping.
A group of students went to every classroom and measured how full the compost, recycle and rubbish bins were. We tallied up how many children brought no rubbish and how many there were in each class.
When we compared them to the next day we realised that some classes had less rubbish and some had more. This was because some classes don’t empty their bins everyday. Overall class bins had less than one half –usually only a quarter with tissues and some paper or plastic products. Fruit bins had less than or up to a quarter. Some classes had no wrappers on Nude Food day –some classes need to improve. This activity was part of the Rubbish free Lunch Challenge. In our school entry it is clear that a lot of food scraps go to the worm and compost bins each day – roughly 10 kilograms per week. The recycling bins are used very well but some classes could still sort the paper and reuse the other side of paper. Most classes had a Scrap paper box. We had a great outcome for Nude Food Day. Overall most students at ENPS are working together to reduce landfill each day.
Our Growing Club is continuing to make an impression in the garden –weeding and transplanting plants. Thanks to our kids we now have some live worm filled organic material and juice to naturally fertilise our garden beds. A big thank you to Mrs Newing who is keeping the school supplied with well-rotted horse manure and straw. Check out our healthy vegetables in the vegie boxes. We’ll be cooking up the silverbeet soon!
We are now preparing the area above the Greenhouse for our Arbor Week project. After the path is completed, students will plant and create signage for a variety of local plants. The purpose of this project is to learn about factors affecting survival in our local environment. Watch out for photos on the website as the project progresses.
Families have been involved in the Greenhouse games challenge with the school achieving the greatest household average greenhouse gas abatement (annualised) category - by completing a short survey and pledging actions each week resulting in positive changes to reduce Greenhouse gases.
Imagine the cumulative impact of everyone making small changes!
Here are some handy hints and interesting facts from the GHG challenge for this week:
Walking (or Riding or Public Transporting) the talk: Did you know?
*Driving a car is the second biggest impact most people have on the environment (food is 1st).
*Cars create nearly 20 % of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (90 %of urban air pollution).
*Half of all car trips are 5km or less.
*In congested areas cycling less than 5km is faster than any other mode of transport.
*For short trips, leave the car at home and walk, ride or take public transport.
*Consider going car-less one day per week. Do ‘short trip’ errands where you can easily walk, ride or catch public transport.
*It takes 10 min to walk 1km. Walking 3kms saves on emissions and you complete 30 minutes of exercise!
*Walk your kids to school or join one of our walking school bus routes.
*Avoid air travel wherever you can and make sure you offset any flights.
*Buy a fuel efficient or low-emission vehicle. Choose the right-sized car to meet your needs.
*If you need to use the car for errands plan one trip for all errands.
*Regularly service your car – a poorly maintained car generates more emissions.
*Drive smoothly, with gradual acceleration from the lights & keep your tires inflated.
Cutting down on Consumption:
Have you ever thought how much energy has gone into the things you use and consume?
All foods, goods or services require energy to make and transport them. ‘Embodied energy’ is the obvious and hidden energy that is in everything we purchase - from the time the raw materials are extracted, through the growing or manufacturing process, during the storage and transportation phases, to the use and the final disposal. If we start to think about the embodied energy involved in food, good or services we can then understand the impact our product choices and consumption has on our planet.
Measure your impact on our planet is by calculating your Ecological Footprint:
Ecological footprint is a way to estimate the amount of bio-productive land and sea area needed to sustain your lifestyle – to provide the resources you use and consume, and deal with the waste you generate (including greenhouse gases). According to the latest Living Planet Report the average Australian footprint is 7.8 global hectares (gha) per person. This is 2.8 times the world average footprint of 2.7 gha/person and well beyond the level of what our planet can regenerate on an annual basis - an equivalent of about 2.1 gha/person/year. Australians are consuming above our ‘fair share’ of the Earth’s resources. Victoria has the largest footprint (per capita) due to our reliance on brown coal for energy. Our challenge is to reduce our consumption of resources, including electricity generated from brown coal, and reduce our ecological footprint.
The personal Ecological Footprint calculator is fun and takes ~10 minutes to complete.http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/ecologicalfootprint/calculators/personal/introduction.asp
Ecological footprint student activities: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/students/activities/default.asp
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE = less waste, less pollution, lower carbon emissions and it saves money!
Reduce (and Refuse):
Houses, televisions, meals - as things get bigger so do the demands on the earth. We can easily reduce our footprint by avoiding unnecessary consumption:
Do you boil enough water for six cups of tea when you only want one?
Do you leave the TV or stereo on when you leave the room?
Do you throw things away unused? Do you allow food to rot in the fridge?
Small acts like this seem insignificant but collectively they add up and contribute to our ecological footprint.
Refuse (think before you buy):
Before you make that next purchase think: Do I really need it? Will I use it more than once? What will happen to it when I have finished with it?
Put a No junk mail sticker on your letterbox: This discourages the delivery of paper advertising into households and over consumption - that's a win for our environment.
Reuse (and Repair)
Most of what we consume ends up as rubbish within months, weeks, days or even minutes.
Australia is the second most wasteful society (per capita) in the world sending an average of nearly 700 kg of waste per person to landfill every year. That’s enough rubbish to cover Victoria! By extending the life cycle of products we can cut down on that rubbish. Try to buy items that are: reusable, come in reusable packaging, can be refilled or repaired.
'Big Bug' sculpture hanging in the atrium.
Australians recycle more than 1.4 billion glass bottles, 2.3 billion aluminium cans and billions more plastic and paper items every year. Recycling reduces landfill and saves resources:
*Recycling an aluminium can uses only 5% of the energy required to make a new one
*Recycling glass uses 26% of the energy
*1 tonne of paper recycled saves 13 trees, 4100 kilowatts of electricity and > 30000 litres of water. Are you uncertain about what you can recycle?
*Go to http://www.recyclingnearyou.com.au/ to find out what and where you can recycle in your council region.