Sustainability (Eco Warriors)

In 2009 South Street undertook to gain 5 star accreditation as a Sustainable school through ResourceSmart Sustainability Victoria.

We believe that it is important for children to have a strong understanding of their environment and to be able to take action at a local and global level to reduce their ecological footprint. We will endeavour to practice Waste Wise initiatives, promote energy efficiency, reduce water usage, increase biodiversity in the school gardens and encourage community practice in sustainability.

Our Aims

Water

To prompt actions that will reduce water usage; to appreciate water as a precious natural resource; to plant trees that are conducive to our environment and don’t need much water; to educate the whole school community about ways to reduce water usage both indoors and outdoors and to conduct a water audit and maintain records of water consumption.

Energy

To control energy consumption so that we reduce our impact on the natural environment; avoid unnecessary costs associated with wasting energy; educate students, staff and whole community about the best practice for use of energy consuming equipment and services and to conduct an energy audit and maintain records of energy consumption.

Biodiversity

To improve our own and the community’s outdoor natural environment; by planting trees that are conducive to our environment; upgrading the play areas and making them environmentally friendly; using natural materials that reduce the impact on the environment; to educate the school community about incorporating biodiversity in our every day school life.

Waste

To continue the development of a Waste Wise ethic within the whole school community; to provide and maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing learning environment through the reduction of waste and litter; to practice waste wise principles of reduce, reuse and recycle; and to reduce the cost of waste and litter management.

Around The School Grounds

Water
In 2009 we implemented the following practices:

  • Empty ice-cream containers are placed under all taps in order to catch the drips and spilt water. These are emptied by our Eco–Warriors onto plants, trees, grass or given to our animals.
  • Signage has been placed around the school to encourage children to not waste water.
  • Integrated Units have been developed and studied in class focusing on “Water”.
  • School’s Water Efficiency Program audit undertaken. Priority one actions include installing control valves on a number of taps.
  • Water bills entered onto SETS (Schools Environment Tracking System) by Eco-Warriors with Principal’s help.

Energy
In 2009 we implemented the following practices:

  • Grants were applied for and received from the State and Federal Governments for installing Solar Panels onto the roof. (Total $69,000 including sale of RECs)
  • Concerted efforts made to reduce electricity use by turning off lights and equipment in classrooms when not used. Eco-Warriors encouraged to remind us all.
  • Energy bills (Gas & Electricity) entered onto SETS (Schools Environment Tracking System) by Eco-Warriors with Principal’s help.

Biodiversity
In 2009 we implemented the following:

  • Landscaping which will not only beautify the school but also encourage bio-diverse growth. This will be achieved through significant funding (Building Education Revolution funds) and employing a local contractor to work with children and parents on the development of a whole school plan.
  • We also run a worm farm, composting and a Plant & Animal Program. This involves children growing and caring for plants and animals (Chooks & rabbits).

Waste
In 2009 we implemented the following practices:

  • Children remove wrappers from their snacks so that rubbish is not taken out in the yard, as this can lead to pollution of our environment or our neighbours. One of the biggest problems is, of course, chip packets and yoghurt containers, as they cannot be easily removed before eating. We have therefore asked parents to help us by providing reusable containers to their children so that these items can be placed or poured into at home, then brought to school.