A sustainable school

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Students from St Martin de Porres School, Avondale Heights.4 December 2019

The student leaders at St Martin de Porres School, Avondale Heights, have been making a big difference to their school’s environmental footprint.

This year, we have worked closely with our principal Mr Williams and two of the mums at our school. They have a strong interest in caring for our environment and, after sharing their feelings with us, we decided there was plenty we could do to work towards creating an environmentally sustainable school.

In the beginning, it was important to take an audit of our waste collection. Together with the help of the Moonee Valley Council, we were able to determine what we were doing well and what methods of waste collection we could improve. We found that our biggest concern had to be the amount of food we found in our rubbish bins. We started an advertising campaign at assemblies urging students to take their uneaten food home or talk to their parents about giving them less. We were also concerned about the amount of plastic wrappers and even recyclable items in our rubbish bins. It was time to take action.

These are some of the measures we have taken to improve our sustainability practices:

  1. Created an online system for ordering lunches.
  2. Made sure that students who ordered their lunch brought a container to school, in which they’d receive their lunch and which they were responsible for washing after use.
  3. Encouraged all staff and students to bring ‘nude food’ to school.
  4. Reminded all students to take home any uneaten food and all wrappers that may have been brought to school.
  5. Bought buckets for each classroom and the staffroom for food scraps.
  6. Installed compost bins.
  7. Bought red bins in which to collect soft plastics. These will be emptied by parents as the contents can be recycled.
  8. Completed units of work on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
  9. Completed our most successful ever Walk to School program.

We are proud of the initiatives St Martin’s has undertaken this year and we look forward to creating and maintaining a sustainable future. We hope another audit of our waste management will show that we have improved our care of the environment. God gave us this wonderful home to live in. Let’s work together to ensure it’s around for a very long time to come.