East Bentleigh Primary School recognises that the environment is integral to the quality of our student’s lives. We endeavour to reduce our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable practises. With regards to waste it is our aim is to minimise landfill waste produced by the school and increase the percentage of material that is reused and recycled.
Since 2010 East Bentleigh Primary School has been developing a Sustainability Curriculum which includes the Resource Smart Aussi Vic Schools program under the guidance of CERES Education Consultant Kirsty Costa. In 2010 – 2012, East Bentleigh has been selected as one of 30 schools to be offered a funded spot to work through the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Schools Program – Core/Waste/Energy Modules.
- Recycling – All classrooms have recycle bins and it is the responsibility of our ECO team to put out our recycle bins. We also shred our used paper and use it in the permaculture garden or feed it to our class guinea-pigs
- Nude food – this year our ECO team captains have been educating the whole school on ways to have Nude Lunches. This has been extremely successful as we had zero waste on National Nude Food day. We hear conversation amongst our students discussing their lunch boxes and how they manage no wrappers.
- Chickens – We love our chooks though they do mess up our beautiful gardens. We did have some issues with the chooks eating our newly planted seedlings so our students have made fences out of tree cuttings and bamboo – weaving the branches in and out of the bamboo stakes. This looks ascetically pleasing to the eye and has kept the chooks out. Our chooks are free ranged and we think they think they own the school! Below is a picture of them charging out of their coop in the morning – you don’t want to stand in their way!
- Kitchen/garden program – this has been up and running since 2009. I could write a whole case study on this program but I will reframe from doing that at present. I will focus on our recycling and compost. All scraps from our kitchen program, from classrooms and staffroom compost bins are used to fertilise our many gardens around our school. Our students are educated via our garden program on how best to manage this.
- Interactive whiteboards to reduce paper – We have portable whiteboards that are used in our senior Steiner classes and all our Mainstream classes.