Monbulk Primary School Sustainability Update Waste and Energy Modules
The sustainability program is continuing in the school under the direction of CERES as part of the ResourceSmart Schools Program. The program has been overseen this year by Renae Lansdell and Liz Beattie, however, with Liz leaving the school staff in Term 3, Dimie O’Halloran will be taking over Liz’s responsibilities throughout semester two.
As part of the program, details, including costs of electricity, gas, water, recycling, paper usage and waste disposal volumes have been collected and updated regularly online since 2014. These details are evaluated by the staff and student sustainability team on a regular basis, with the target of reducing usage by approximately 5% per annum in all these areas. The details are then forwarded to our school Principal, and submitted for review by School Council. Students and parents are updated frequently, approximately once every term on the schools’ progress of our savings, through whole school assemblies and articles in the school newsletter, the Monny Mag.
In 2017 and 2018, we have been focussing on completing both the Waste and Energy modules, and have been working towards achieving our second and third stars. The schools energy consumption and waste to landfill were already at or below the benchmark set by Sustainability Victoria. However, through conducting audits for both resources with our student environment team we identified areas we could focus on to further reduce our usage of these resources.
To reduce our energy consumption we implemented simple programs such as a whole school shutdown procedure enforced by our student energy monitors and clear signage to switch off lights and regulate thermostat settings. We also participate in Walking Safely to School Day each year to reduce our carbon footprint. On a larger scale we are currently fundraising to purchase more solar panels.
To reduce the amount of waste going to landfill at our school we have introduced a Nude Food Program to encourage students to minimise the amount of waste they are bringing to school every day. Each classroom has a small landfill bin, recycling bin and compost bin and clear signage to divert items from going to landfill. As well as printing double sided and shredding used paper for our compost we are looking into purchasing 100% recycled paper, toilet paper and tissues.
The programs that we have implemented at the school through completing the waste and energy modules appear to be making a difference on a whole school scale with a reduction in both energy consumption and waste to landfill since commencing the modules.
Our Energy module has recently been certified, and it is our hope that after the Waste module is approved, our school will achieve our second and third stars that we want so much!