Making sustainable choices is not just important for the environment, but also for our future generations. Schools have a great responsibility to teach and encourage students to become environmentally conscious citizens. In line with this, many schools have taken steps to implement sustainable practices on their campuses. Our school, in particular, has taken the recommendations from Reground and CERES and implemented a number of initiatives aimed at reducing our environmental impact.
One of the most significant steps we have taken is implementing a five-bin system in all learning and staff areas. This system allows us to separate waste into five categories: paper/cardboard, soft plastics, food waste, mixed recycling, and landfill. Educational signage is displayed throughout the school, reminding everyone to use the appropriate bin for their waste.
Another significant initiative is the implementation of a compost system for whole school food waste. This system ensures that all food waste is composted, rather than being sent to landfill. Additionally, we have a zero-green waste to landfill policy, which means that any green waste generated on our campus is reused or recycled in some way.
To further encourage recycling, we have also set up a specialty recycling hub for staff and the community, as well as a cardboard and paper recycling stream with KS Environmental. We have also swapped ‘biodegradable’ bin liners for recycled plastic bags, and dismantled end-of-unit work into recyclable and reusable parts.
Another important initiative is the creation of a Green Purchasing Guide and Green Events Guide. These guides provide information on sustainable purchasing practices, as well as guidance on how to plan and run sustainable events.
Since implementing these initiatives, we have seen significant progress towards our goal of reducing landfill by 80%. By separating waste into the correct waste streams and reducing paper towel usage significantly, we have reduced landfill by at least 50% since August 2022. The landfill skip, which used to be picked up twice a week, is now only picked up once a week, saving the school a significant amount of money per year.
By rehoming unwanted furniture items, we have also reduced our waste and extended the life of these items. Finally, we are proud to say that thanks to the efforts of our Sustainable Campus Committee, we are now a zero-food and zero-garden waste-to-landfill school!
In conclusion, our school has taken several important steps towards becoming more sustainable. By implementing these initiatives, we are not only reducing our environmental impact but also setting an example for our students and the wider community. We hope that our efforts inspire others to make sustainable choices and work towards a better future for our planet.