5 Star School

Cowes Primary recently joined the illustrious list of environmentally sustainable schools within Victoria. And it doesn’t end there!

The school is a 5 star sustainable school and is one of 20 schools in the state to be involved in the Carbon Sink program. This has enabled us as a school community to reflect and take actions towards a sustainable future.
Both the students and staff are actively involved in programs and initiatives towards caring for the environment and consequently reducing our carbon footprint.
As part of Cowes Primary School’s environmental commitment we have endeavoured to become a sustainable carbon neutral school – one that demonstrates green technologies, integrates sustainable operations and a sustainable curriculum which motivates all people in both our school and local community to live more sustainably.
What we have achieved so far….
Being part of the program has enabled us to reflect on what we were already doing and strive to make it even better. So far we have…
  • Completed an Energy Audit
  • Turn off switch signs in all classrooms
  • Whole school computer shutdown program
  • Occupancy sensors in classrooms and staffroom
  • Light monitors
  • Natural lighting and ventilation – building design
  • Passive solar features air flow – building design
  • Solar hot water system
  • Classroom temperature monitoring – defining comfort temperature
  • Computers and copiers programmed to go on standby when not being used.
  • Schedule hot water timer so that only heating when staff at school
  • Use of power saver buttons on all copiers.
  • Staff informed of the building design features such as natural ventilation and lighting
  • Pool pumps programmed to be on only when needed.
  • Regular backwashing of filters which enhances cleaning efficiency
  • Solar blanket – representing a saving both in heating and cleaning
  • Regular defrosting of freezers
We have also achieved…
  • Schools Water Efficiency Program – two 22,700ltr have recently been installed, which are to be utilised for flushing the Student Toilets and for use in both backwashing and top-up of the schools pool. There are also tanks attached to all catchment areas around the school and recycling of grey water from bubble taps.
  • Installation of 26 flow control valves through the SWEP Program saving 114kL per year.
  • Whole school entry in to BluScope ‘Tank a Day’ competition.
  • Our school is now almost a self efficient ‘water school’.
  • Participated as a school community in ‘earth hour’.
  • Reduced our waste by 50% through purchasing more recycle bins and composting.
  • Mulched and planted 360 native trees, shrubs and grasses
  • Designed and in the processes of building a vegetable patch which will include compost, worm farms, seeding and water tanks.
  • Introduced ‘Rubbish Free Lunches’ on Tuesdays.
  • Hired an arborist to assess tree health and maintain where necessary.
By focusing our initiatives on environmental issues Cowes Primary has been able to celebrate our fantastic efforts. Compared to the same time the previous year the school is using 18% less electricity throughout the whole school. This is the equivalent to saving 13 tonnes of coal being burnt or the equivalent of a car being off the road for 12 months!
We have used 40% less water compared to the same time last year and there has been a 50% reduction in collected waste.
The school has also developed an ‘environmental committee’ with representatives from each level within the school. These students are responsible for promoting green practices around the school.
The relationship we have gained with CERES, the community, the council and other programs and schools involved in reducing our carbon footprint has been invaluable.
Cowes Primary will continue to commit themselves to reducing and living a sustainable life!
By Cowes Primary School|2017-11-06T17:15:47+10:00April 25th, 2013|0 Comments
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