Sustainability Victoria is thrilled to launch the refresh of the ResourceSmart Schools program, helping schools save energy, money and time. Knowing that school teachers and administrators already have their plates pretty full, we have streamlined processes and refreshed the accreditation requirements, leaving more time to spend making sustainable changes for the future.
While at school, opportunities for leadership, developing community awareness and teamwork are important to the development of students of all ages. Our ResourceSmart Schools offers opportunities for these vital experiences as students can take an active role in planning and managing activities to reduce waste, save water and electricity across the school.
The program embeds sustainability across the school facilities, community and curriculum, while saving resources and money for the school. The ResourceSmart Schools program has been managed by Sustainability Victoria since 2008 and in that time, more than 1300 schools have avoided over 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and saved over $22 million.
Working through modules, schools act to improve their environment through a range of behavior and infrastructure changes. Their own activities have included ensuring events are zero waste and diverting waste from landfill, setting thermostat controls at recommended temperatures to conserve energy, establishing student teams to monitor taps and toilets for water leaks and planting trees to create wildlife corridors.
While the schools themselves are hard at work in their community, we have made it easier for them to see the progress they are making. We all like to celebrate our wins, so being able to see their progress and recognise those achievements will boost motivation and encourage participating schools to achieve. Existing ResourceSmart Schools will have received notification and a summary of the program update, and Sustainability Victoria is here to support them if there are questions about the transition.
Of course, any schools from primary or secondary, Catholic or government, who are interested in becoming a ResourceSmart School, can register to find out more through Sustainability Victoria.
I have only one piece advice for a school wanting to make a difference to the environment through ResourceSmart Schools. That is this, you’ve got nothing to lose and only things to gain! When a whole school approach is taken to sustainability it is an incredible thing to be a part of.
Courtney Hicks, Sustainability Coordinator, Banyule Primary School
If you’re interested in saving electricity at your school and want to try out one of the ResourceSmart Schools modules, join our Energy Champions Challenge. The challenge runs until 2019 so there’s still time to join. There are $26,000 in prizes up for grabs. Register today.