At the College, we have adopted many sustainable solutions such as the provision of Fair-Trade coffee and tea in our staff rooms, installation of energy efficient appliances (heating/cooling), replacement of LED lighting through all buildings, utilisation of rain water tanks and for all new builds, we always add solar panelling. We are also looking at ways to increase our composting capabilities..
We are taking action to become a more environmentally sustainable school through a Victorian Government initiative called ResourceSmart Schools.
ResourceSmart Schools is a program that helps our school embed sustainability in everything we do. We are aiming to reduce our resource use (electricity, waste and water) plus support Indigenous plants and animals. This will also help us to save money. We also want to involve students, families and other members of our College and our local community.
We are working with the CERES Community Environment Park on the actions of the core module. This year, we are aiming to create a strong foundation for our Sustainability Program and continue to build on our sustainability achievements. We will monitor our resource use by using a free website called ResourceSmart Online and improve our waste systems.
We cannot wait to share our achievements with you and contribute to a sustainable future for all. You can find out further information regarding ResourceSmart Schools at https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/schools
Planting the Seed Program
Planting the Seed Project is a collaboration between Eco Warriors Australia, Ecology and Restoration Australia, Kingston Council and Kilbreda College. A grant of $7,300 has been awarded to the project from the Port Phillip Bay Fund and supplies have been donated from Mitre 10 Cheltenham.
The Planting the Seed Project gives students the opportunity to restore an area of degraded native vegetation along the Mentone Foreshore. The project will improve students’ understanding of the activities needed to enhance local biodiversity and give them a direct understanding of the actions needed to protect our environment.
Students will be taught native flora and fauna identification and learn how plants adapt to and compete within a coastal environment. This learning will occur within the broader context of threats to our coastal environment and how students themselves can act to conserve and enhance biodiversity in their area. Students will also be able to delve deeper into the cultural significance of native plants and animals through learning about their traditional uses and stories.
Students will also be asked to focus on sustainability throughout the project. For example, students will collect recycled materials for plant propagation to reduce waste. This will improve their awareness of issues relating to sustainability.
Resources provided by Ecology and Restoration Australia will be used to teach students in Year 9 Environmental Science and Sustainability (elective, four lessons per cycle) about environmental restoration.
Students will undertake one field trip to the site on 19 October to collect seed and to learn about the cultural heritage values of the plants and wildlife in the local area.
An ecologist from ERA will visit the school the following week to teach students how to propagate plants from seed and cuttings.
The seeds will be grown over the summer and be ready for a mass revegetation planting in April next year. This project is an ongoing collaboration, and the area will be cared for and monitored into the future. We will be investigating plant growth and survival, animals seen at the site and weed cover.
Since 2004, several of our Year 8 students visit the Mentone Foreshore monthly to participate in the ‘Foreshore Program’. During their time in the program, the students learn valuable information from the City of Kingston in regard to cleaning and preserving the foreshore for the many people that utilise it and the wild and sea life who inhabit it. The sessions include removing rubbish and planting indigenous vegetation. It is a very rewarding program for students to see the many thriving plants, planted by students before them and the positive impact that they are making.
We have an active and passionate Sustainability Group here at the College. Each year, Student Leaders are elected from each year level. Their role is to promote awareness of environmental and sustainability issues both locally and globally, and to encourage actions that result in more sustainable use of resources. In 2021, we expanded our school vegetable garden and look forward to students using this resource to learn about growing food and composting.
We also have a group of staff, both teachers and non-teaching staff, who have joined the group and are keen to help implement changes to improve Sustainability at our College and the wider community.
Our students work on various projects in order to make sustainable changes at the College. Through this Sustainability Blog they share their ideas and progression. We encourage those interested to check back regularly for updates.