St Catherine's School in Proserpine is a Reef Guardian School and as such has many environmental projects taking place. Through these projects, students are empowered to be more environmentally sustainable in everyday practices to reduce their ecological footprint. These include:
This program is run by the Enrichment Team that has provided each classroom with a paper recycling bin. This bin is emptied into specially marked wheelie bins around the school. These are then emptied into a skip that is collected for delivery to the Mackay Paper Recycling Depot.
The Year 4 students have established a vegetable garden with a large variety of seedlings. They are also developing compost with the use of a compost and worm farm.
Each year the Prep class remulches and replenishes their bird and butterfly garden. This garden was researched and planted with trees that attract a variety of birds and butterflies for the students to study.
In an effort to increase awareness and understanding of environmentally sustainable issues, the Year 6 and 7 students are investigating alternative energy in science. Energy use is a critical issue for the planet with limited fossil fuels and increasing demand. Students are studying how to reduce energy use and develop alternative energy sources. They recently made their own hot water solar systems.
As part of its Year of Sustainability focus, Holy Spirit School designed a special logo to inspire students, staff and families. With two different sized footprints set on a blue globe representing the planet, the green motto represents the community's main aim for the year, that of lowering its carbon footprint.
Principal, Paul Lucas, has been measuring the school's footprint for the past two year using Ecotude, a calculator available on the Sydney Powerhouse Museum website.
With staff making personal and corporate commitments to live more sustainably, Paul is confident that the Student Environment Council (The Busy Bees) will receive its best support yet.
"It's our aim to lower our carbon footprint in little and large ways" says Year 1 teacher, Sally Heslop.
"We will be installing a 2kw photovoltaic panel set to generate our own power as well as installing movement sensors to control light settings in fourteen areas. This will be in addition to many power saving strategies already introduced with our Save a little power every hour programme," she says.
Townsville City Council waste collection trucks have been wrapped in a new, recycling smart design and will be prominent on the streets of Townsville. The new makeover was made possible thanks to the help from students from Ryan Catholic College's Go MAD Group. The group submitted the design as part of the Townsville City Council and Queensland Nickel's National recycling week art competition that was held late last year.
Cr Vern Veitch, Environment and Sustainability Committee chair said that the final product looked great and sent a gentle reminder to residents to reduce, reuse and recycle. The truck will display the student's artwork for the remainder of 2010.
The two new ovals located in Joanne Street (adjacent to the St Anthony's Catholic College Assisi Campus) were handed back to the College at the start of the school year. These ovals feature a fully electronic watering system which adjusts watering requirements to 32 mm per week and has a direct injection system for fertilization that eradicates the need for chemical applications and reduces downtime of the ovals.
A computerized weather station (accessible at www.weatherdata.net.au/sacc ) automatically adjusts the watering system in response to any rainfall resulting in considerable water savings.
Some of the Year 7 students walked around the playground while the children were collecting rubbish, wearing placards promoting environmental messages about the amount of time it takes for different types of rubbish to break down eg: a banana skin compared to a plastic bag.
It was an effective way to deliver the message about rubbish, recycling and looking after the environment.
Congratulations to St Colman's School in Home Hill for their successful applications in two gardening grants through 'Junior Landcare Grants'. The money has been spent in the vegetable garden to upgrade the irrigation system which is connected to the existing rainwater tank, as well as place a filter on the rainwater tank. This money also provided the means to buy a great variety of seedlings and mulch.
St Catherine's are now turning computers off and any electrical items at the end of the day. Airconditioners to be turned on a bit later in the mornings (only terms 1 & 2) and to reduce photocopying eg 2 pages on one side using multiple copies. Also, they are having an environmental dress up day (chn come dressed as a tree, solar panel etc. St Catherine's now have 2 areas where vegetables ae being grown.
This year the team of enviro heroes are getting down and dirty to work on projects to beautify the school and to make people aware of environmental sustainability. This is their veggie garden which is not long off turning into some gourmet delights in the tuckshop. They have also started planting a small garden under our "Tree of Knowledge" - the mango tree