The Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge acted as a powerful tool for promoting rubbish free lunches at Tinternvale Primary School. We have currently been having rubbish free lunch every Thursday and we are aiming towards rubbish free lunch everyday. The school community are becoming more committed to packing and having rubbish free lunches. The students in particular are learning the value of rubbish free lunch days. In Term 3 we do a whole school focus on sustainability through our integrated units, which inevitably invokes conversations about waste and the consequences of waste.
Our student Environmental Leaders who come from all levels across the school have been particularly active in promoting rubbish free lunch and the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge. The students spoke at assemblies, wrote articles for the school newsletter, collected data for the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge, participated in a playground litter survey, took photos, made posters, made announcements over our PA system and created a display for the school reception area. These activities were undertaken as both a pre-promotion of the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge and as a reminder for ongoing support of our ‘Nude Food’ policy and program.
At Tinternvale Primary School we are committed to the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge and have a commitment to continue on with our goal of rubbish free lunch everyday. We currently have a sustainability policy with a specific section devoted to waste. Our sustainability policy outlines the following points for waste:
· Environmental Leaders will collect food scraps daily and transfer to the compost bin.
· Each class will dispose of paper and plastic into the appropriate recycle bins.
· The school will promote the re-use principle of paper in the classroom, staffroom and office areas.
· Children will eat in classrooms and only unpackaged food will go outside.
· The canteen area will be the only are students will be able to eat packaged food purchased from the canteen.
We also have a green procurement policy that outlines a number of points pertaining to waste and also specifically names our move towards rubbish free lunch everyday at Tinternvale Primary School:
· Continue the development of a ‘Waste Wise’ ethic within the whole school community.
· Control the consumption of packaging and paper so that we reduce our impact on the natural environment.
· Minimise rubbish and recycle our waste throughout the school, as much as possible, on a daily basis.
· Promote rubbish free lunches, asking those who bring food packaging with them to school to take it home with them as part of our ‘Take In, Take Home’ waste program.
In addition to our the work that Tinternvale Primary School is undertaking to improve our waste management systems, we are also working with CERES and Sustainability Victoria, to attain accreditation in the area of Waste as a part of the AussieVic Sustainable Schools program. Staff have participated in two professional development sessions this year and will be participating in another session later this year, in order to further develop our knowledge of sustainability and its relevance and importance in schools.
In the past two years Tinternvale Primary School has worked hard to develop better waste management systems. Between 2009 and 2010 we reduced the amount of waste that we produce by 9%. In 2009 we had 144 cubic metres of waste and in 2010 we had 141 cubic metres of waste. We hope to continue to reduce our waste into the future by continuing through our waste through the excellent waste management systems weh have put into place. We enter all waste data into the School Energy Tracking System (SETS), introduced co-mingled recycling, gained a small grant a created a new compost bin facility, continued on with our VISY paper recycling system, reduced the overall amount of paper being used at Tinternvale Primary School, had staff professional development sessions to educate staff on sustainability and waste management, organised an active student leadership team for environmental issues, created a vegetable garden (into which we sometimes put composted materials), appointed a sustainability co-ordinator and created policy that will ensure the continued future reduction of waste.