LET’S CELEBRATE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS
As you are aware the Victorian Government has shown commitment to several years of support for schools, through the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Schools program, Merri-bek Primary has been working with CERES and our ResourceSmart coordinator to embed sustainability practices into our behaviour and learning. We would like to list some of our achievements and to let you know that we have successfully achieved accreditation in 2 of the programs- The Core module and Waste modules. We will be working on the Water, Energy and Biodiversity modules in the coming years. We have already achieved many of the requirements in these modules already.
MAIN TECHNICAL CHANGES MADE TO REDUCE RESOURCE USE/IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT
- $50,000 Government Water grant allowed us to install water tanks and over-hall our inefficient taps, single flush toilets and urinals.
- Professional Learn Team, include students and parents, formed for environment sustainability. The MEPA Student Action team active in implementing change.
- Sustainability Management Policy developed
- Raised Garden boxes were built and each grade and parents planned and planted different gardens.
- We have developed our community garden project in 2010.
- We put in 3 years of SETS baseline data of gas, electricity, waste and water use at MPS. Graphs were generated and shared with the community. We are now able to monitor more sustainable resource use practices in the future.
- RMIT WASTE Audit has made recommendations for us to expand our recycling program to include bottles, plastic and cans. Will explore through Merri-bek City Council lobbying.
- Rubbish in yard is tackled through packaging being prohibited in yard and food being eaten in a restricted area. Canteen has been closed.
- More bins in yard for compost, no food past a line in yard, no packaging to go past that line
MAIN BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES MADE TO REDUCE RESOURCE USE/IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT
(Education programs, student and staff practices, etc.)
- 4 interesting and informative Professional development sessions with Resource Smart Schools rep. Environment and Waste Action plan developed reflecting areas for improvement identified by staff and parents at those meetings.
- A number of Rubbish free lunch Days and Make A Difference Days( MAD DAYs) focusing on the environment
- Visit to Merri Creek and CERES explored water quality of the creek and encouraged MPS to not pollute the drains and not to litter. Sprayed messages on local drains reinforcing the no-littering message to community.
- Successful Environmental Programs to develop a greater awareness of the sustainable message. Many activities focused on Sustainability e.g.
- Minerals Education and EPA visits and cross age Earth focus based activities during Science Week.
- Friends of Merri Creek rep. visited the school to help create a native grass garden. VINC donated plants
- Prep/1 roof top garden created with $34,000 grant
- Earth watch and Eco Week community projects
- Yarra Valley Water, water saving digital advertising project
- Junior school Council (JSC) are managing our Nude Food is Healthy Food promotion and composting project. Each class has green waste composting bins. Discourage packaging and junk food.
- Gained accreditation as a Go For Your Life School. Go For Your life program actively supports our sustainability initiatives.
- Gedeys Composting bin bought with grant money.
- Environmental Notice boards set up to inform community of initiatives ranging from Earth Hour, not using disposable nappies, Energy conservation, water saving and Waste management
- Colourful murals in the yard created by students and community members.
- The environmental message spread through newsletter and assemblies
- Collection of water from drinking troughs for gardens
- Review of paper recycling practices. All grades have VISY bins. Young leaders MEPA lobbying Merri-bek Council to take more responsibility with school waste recycling programs.
- Attendance for 2 years at Moreland Council Youth summit to share our concerns and ideas.
- JSC has begun working with the Zoo to collect Mobile phones. $5 from each phone will go to saving the orangutans.
- Grade 5/6 worked on a project with Yarra Valley Water and Sinclaire, Knight, Merz to encourage water saving in students’ homes. Students created podcasts and movies spreading the water saving message.
- Community garden boxes constructed at Merri-bek Primary School
WOW – we have achieved so much and ask for your help and support in the future to do even more to protect our environment.
As you can see from the report on Sustainability initiatives at Merri-bek PS, we are very proactive with our environmental activities but felt that we would like to do more to involve our local community.