Good morning official party, special guests, and men of Xavier.
My name is Matthew Connors and I am pleased to be your Environment Prefect for 2016 and head of the Xavier College Sustainability Committee, which had its first meeting last Thursday. As much as it’s been a very exclusive group in the past, this year we’re opening it up to anyone who wants to attend. So sit back and watch this extremely low-quality video:
If you have an interest in sustainability or even just want to give it a go, please do come along to the meeting if you can, because the more members we have the more easily we can get to work on our many projects. Last year we had huge success with the installation of our new bike racks out near the Montague Quad which you may have noticed already. Alex Aloschi-Hopfner and Tom Ward were the project leaders on that one, and as you can see they both look good and they’re very handy, with a variety of students and teachers using them. We would like to encourage you to ride to school if you live close enough to do so. It is great exercise and a much more sustainable way to come to school than having your parents drive you. If you have any great ideas for making our school a more sustainable place, or you think you could help out this year, you’re all welcome to join the committee.
A new form of encouragement for you guys is that you can now get Ignatian Service hours for helping out with the sustainability committee! Caring for our natural environment and is a great way to exercise your Ignatian Values! Finding it hard to get to those afterschool commitments? Too busy raving on a Friday night to go to a weekly service program? You can get hours by joining the Xavier College Sustainability Committee! If you help out with a project, attend an out-of-school event, or simply promote sustainable living, you could get service hours. Of course though we’re not in it for the hours, we’re in it to give back to the community!
This year the committee’s main focus will be on recycling, because at the moment we’re pretty terrible at it. There’s rubbish strewn across the yard, and even when it does make it to the bin, nobody seems to know which one to put it in. Blank paper gets put into the normal bins, food scraps get shoved into the Visy recycling bins, and I wouldn’t be surprised if half the people in the boarding house had never even heard the word “recycling” before. If you’re sitting there feeling confused, fear not!
We are currently in the process of working with VisCom and the Property manager to design a more Xavier Friendly recycling system that will take care of our paper, plastic and aluminium can waste. We hope to launch this new system at the waste free BBQ during our environment days later in the term. Until then, can I ask you to use the paper recycling bins in your classrooms and corridors and avoid contaminating them with rubbish. They are for paper only at this stage. If we all work together on this we can both clean up the school and help make our community a more sustainable place.
So whether you come along to the meeting today, you choose the right bin, ride your bike to school or choose public transport, or you participate in some of the activities that we’ll have for our upcoming environment days on March 10 and 11 (keep those dates in your diary!), remember to stay sustainable! After all, everyone plays a part in creating a better future!