As a new school year begins, some principals are looking at ways to make their schools environmentally friendly – without breaking the budget.
Buxton public school large site, located in rural surrounds, allows it to captilise on the school's environmentally-friendly design. Buxton public has a strong environmental focus which it says “continually sets benchmarks for eco-friendly initiatives”.
Another school that has led by example in this way is North Curl Curl public school, whose SEMP (School Environmental Management Plan) outlines ways that the school can be a more environmentally sustainable community.
Similarly projects such as the parent ‘Green Team’ and the student 'Teenie Weenie Greenies' are involved in a range of projects that promote sustainability both in the school and the wider community.
Green Cross Australia has an initiative that runs innovative digital projects which help to “grow more sustainable and resilient communities”.
Its website lists some ways in which schools can benefit from “going green”.
- Protect Student and Teacher Health - Schools designed with attention to proper ventilation, material selection, acoustical quality and other indoor environmental factors, can expect improved student and teacher health and higher attendance;
- Better Student Performance - Attention to site planning and adequate daylighting has been shown to heighten student performance by as much as 25%;
- Lower Operating Costs - Operating costs for energy and water can be reduced by 20% to 40%, allowing more money to be used for teacher salaries, textbooks and computers;
- Provide a Unique Educational Opportunity - When advanced technology and design in new schools are made visible, buildings can become teaching tools and important features of science, math, and environmental curriculum.
Other steps, such as providing eco-friendly school supplies in your classrooms and emphasising recycling can go a long way towards both lowering expenditures and maintaining a safe and healthy school.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What are some of the things your school is going to be environmentally friendly?