Friday, June 12, 2009

young environmental protectors on tour

As part of our commitment to the environment and lightening our footprint the Shire runs the Learning for Sustainability (LfS) in schools throughout the Shire. LfS assists schools with sustainable initiatives both within the school grounds and in the broader community. LfS focuses on five key sustainability areas; Water, Energy, Materials, Biodiversity and Community.

This week the LfS Young Environmental Protectors (YEPs) went on tour to find out what other schools were doing as part of the LfS program. It’s a great opportunity for students across the region to learn what initiatives are happening in other schools, what worked, what didn’t work and what interesting discoveries were made along the way.

Part of the tour involved the children dressing up as ‘important people’ of the future - environmental scientists, I was pleased to kick off proceedings as the demonstration model!

I joined with the tour at Selby Primary School, where the grade 3 and 4s actively participate in the LfS program for the school. The SWAT team (Save Water and Trees) are passionate about what they do and have really embraced the first element of the five sustainability steps, Waste. Part of the information sharing was a competition between schools to see who could work out the ‘waste time line’.

Students from the Patch Primary, Macclesfield Primary, Mt Evelyn Primary, Mt Evelyn Christian School were given a range of waste materials from paper, various plastics, cotton, metals and glass and charged with the task of working out how long each material would take to break down along a time scale from 2 weeks to 10,000 years. Competition was fierce and proved to be challenging for students and teachers alike, but it was a great activity with much drama as the final results were revealed.

The next stop on the tour was the Patch Primary who have done wonderful things with their environmental education program. LfS is a great program and a good example of awareness raising at a local level, one Mum at Selby reported to me that she had stopped buying plastic wrap and gone to reusable containers because of her daughter’s participation in Selby’s LfS program. It’s a small step in the journey towards greater sustainability, but a step well worth taking.

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