Dirty hands, green thumbs

The Green Team and helpers. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d397079
The Green Team and helpers. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d397079

Thanks to the work of teacher Danielle Murphy who is also the sustainability co-ordinator, students are getting a hands-on introduction to the joys of gardening, worm farms and land care.

Ms Murphy said the school’s sustainability team was reinvigorated in 2012, with Lucy Blair and Fiona Kent joining her, along with a dedicated team of parents.

The school was allocated two grants to help with projects, one from DEC Waste Wise Grant ($2200) and a Coles Land Care Grant ($1100).

She said the waste reduction project, which sees all waste from around the school collected, sorted, weighed and counted by the Year 4/5 class, has been a great initiative.

‘Food scraps and paper topped the list of items ending up in our rubbish bins. The school was producing a staggering 1200kg plus of organic waste each year,’ she said.

Paper printed or paper used on one side only is placed in a classroom ‘re-use’ tray for students to use again.

Office paper is shredded and fed to the worms. Newspapers are also shredded as worm food.

Two classes manage the worm farms and responsibilities will be rotated during the term.

Green Team members co-ordinate the feeds and the worms are fed fruit and vegie scraps.

The school is planning to expand the garden projects by building a set of compost bays and more raised garden beds using recycled materials.

The school’s Green Team, which is made up of students, has launched a new competition in partnership with EMRC ” Battle of the Batteries.

Classes collect batteries from home, bringing them to school for recycling and thus diverting them from landfill.

The school also collects and recycles toner cartridges, mobile phones and aluminium cans.

Ms Murphy said the next big project was likely to be the development of a community food-producing garden on the school grounds.