ResourceSmart Schools Lead Savings and Sustainability

Each year Gippsland schools reap the educational, environmental and economic benefits of being part of the award-winning ResourceSmart Schools program.

Alison Taylor, ResourceSmart Schools Gippsland coordinator said, “As a result of practices and projects relating to energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and biodiversity, Gippsland’s 72 ResourceSmart schools saved $60,000 last financial year and generated significant sustainability and educational outcomes.”

“A combined saving of over 151,992 kWh of energy, equating to 193 tonnes of greenhouse gas, was achieved through improvements to energy-use practices implemented by schools that resulted from energy audits conducted by students.”

Other achievements included water audits and the wise use of water that resulted in the conservation of 1332kL of water; gardening and biodiversity activities resulting in around 462 trees being planted; and, 245m3 of waste diverted from landfill through recycling, composting and reuse activities.

“While schools are always pleased with savings to electricity and water bills, it’s also sustainability outcomes that stem from hands-on experience, behaviour change and leadership that are highly sought after.”

Gippsland’s team of ResourceSmart Schools facilitators work with schools to integrate sustainability education into the curriculum and encourage teachers and students to take the lead and share their expertise with the broader school community and beyond the school gate.

Many environmental restoration programs are student-led and an increasing number of schools are forming strong connections with local community and Landcare groups; collaborations range from tree planting days to waste clean-up activities, from harvest lunches to selling or donating garden produce.

“To broaden the reach of the program even further, we were excited to launch the ResourceSmart Schools Gippsland YouTube channel last term,” Alison Taylor explained. “Our program is ever evolving, and it’s strengthened through students and teachers sharing ideas and resources; what better way to do it than online.”

Several ResourceSmart Schools have uploaded video to the channel, including students providing practical how-to demonstrations or conducting interviews with local sustainability experts.

“It’s also a useful tool for the professional development service we offer our schools; teacher training videos recently uploaded have been very popular,” added Alison Taylor. “There’s a lot of talent out there and it’s great to have a platform to showcase students and teachers actively engaged with resource recovery, sustainability and having fun.”

ResourceSmart Schools is a Victorian Government program managed by Sustainability Victoria and delivered in the Gippsland region by Resource Recovery Gippsland.

For further information contact Alison Taylor on 0409 879 910 or visit (link)…

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