Make an energy saving plan
- A plan that encourages good housekeeping practices, such as switching off lights when not needed, closing windows, and regularly checking heating control settings, can save up to 10 per cent on energy bills.
- Sustainability Victoria have an Energy module to help schools reduce energy use and save on bills.
- Choose drought-tolerant plants and plant native species wherever possible.
- Use deciduous trees to shade classrooms in the warmer months, while letting the sun filter through in the winter.
- A productive kitchen garden, like the program developed by Stephanie Alexander, teaches kids where food comes from, and is a good place to research the establishment of a compost bin or worm farm.
- Use locally-sourced landscaping materials and install permeable paving materials to allow rainwater to seep into the ground.
Use water wisely
- Install rainwater tanks to flush toilets or to water thirsty plants.
- If dual-flush toilets haven’t been installed, then place a brick or a bottle filled with water in the cisterns.
Waste not, want not
- Audit your school rubbish disposal. Are non-recyclables being put in the recycling bin? Do you have somewhere to collect biodegradable waste such as lunch leftovers?
- Start a ‘waste-free lunchbox (PDF)’ campaign.
- Adopt a local public area and keep it free of rubbish.
Install solar panels
- Solar panels produce the most energy in the middle of the school day, right when you need it most.
- Tasmanian Government school energy budgets are based on the amount of electricity used, whether it comes from the grid or from panels, so the savings from the panels flow back to your school.
Involve the whole school community
- As teachers, support staff and students all contribute to the school’s environmental footprint, it is important they all participate in energy saving and environmental activities.
- A school energy saving or environmental plan offers lots of opportunities for students to conduct practical projects with a sustainability focus.
- Encourage students to try out energy, waste and water-saving behaviours at home as well as at school. Children are often the driver of behaviour change at home and love teaching their parents.
- Partner with local businesses and community organisations to protect the local environment.
More information for your school is available on the Resources for schools page.