Moreland Primary School actively participates in several sustainability programs including ResourceSmart Schools, Walk and Ride to School, Nude Food, Students are MAD, and Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP).
The school developed an Environment and Waste Action Plan with staff and parents, and has been undertaking a number of measures to save energy, water and to reduce waste. The school’s success is based on preparing its students to be environmentally conscious citizens and partnering with their active and engaged community.
Sustainabilty education – working with CERES to embed sustainability practices into the learning and behaviour of the students, the school has so far been accredited in the Core (foundational), Energy, Biodiversity and Waste modules of ResourceSmart and is making progress on the Water, Energy and Biodiversity modules.
Education activities have included visits from Minerals Education, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cross-age Earth focused activities during Science Week, Earthwatch and Eco Week community projects, and a water saving digital advertising project with Yarra Valley Water.
Improving the facilities – through grants and partnerships, the school has made a number of changes. A 15kW solar system was installed (with help from Positive Charge and a match-funded grant from Sustainability Victoria) and installed water tanks and overhauled the inefficient taps, single flush toilets and urinals with a Victorian Government Water grant. The school has also created a roof top garden for grade 1/2s children, vegie gardens for grade 5/6s and a native grass garden with Friends of Merri Creek and Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative.
Building staff capacity – staff receive professional development sessions through the ResourceSmart Schools program.
Engaging the community – a student group called MEPA (Moreland Environmental Protection Activators) allows the children to take ownership and responsibility for environmental issues. The MEPA leaders communicate sustainability initiatives through newsletter articles, at assemblies, and to the broader community.
Improved everyday practices for the school include a community garden project, involving the parent community in building and planting raised garden boxes, environmental noticeboards and facilitating attendance at the Moreland Council Youth summit.
Re-using, recycling and composting organic waste is promoted in the school and to the community. For example, the Rubbish-Free Policy encourages parents and students to think about healthy alternatives to pre-packaged food.
– 15 kW of solar PV being installed
– 20,000 kWh of clean energy generated each year that would have otherwise come from coal
– 343 CO2e saved over the systems lifetime, equivalent to ?
– $3,000 to be saved each year from the solar panels, to be spent on classroom resources