School builds on green dream

By Campaspe News

COLBINABBIN Primary School has been busily working hard to make the environment a more sustainable one and their efforts have finally been recognised.

‘‘Our school never thought that we would be recognised as a 4 star ResourceSmart school, but here we are – knocking on the door of our fifth star,’’ Principal Robyn MacLean said.

‘‘With an average student population of only 30 children, we have managed to achieve some awesome accomplishments over the past few years.’’

Last week, the school was given some news that has made them very excited and proud: they are one of three finalists in the ResourceSmart School of the Year Awards.

‘‘We believe this is an incredible achievement for a school of our size,’’ Ms MacLean said.

Sustainability has been delivered in and through a range of curriculum areas, including literacy, humanities, science and numeracy.

In 2019, the school have timetabled a weekly 90-minute session for their Green Team.

The group work on increasing their knowledge while also undertaking a range of hands on activities, many with the local community.

In 2018 they built solar powered boats during STEM time. Initially, the plan was to enter the Victorian Solar Vehicle Challenge; however, they conducted a local competition at the Colbinabbin Swimming Pool instead.

This large project saw children in grades 3/4 and 5/6 work in teams of three to design and build a competitive solar-powered boat.

The children are now showing great leadership in this area. The Green Team participated in a Solar Buddy activity where the children built solar-powered lights that are then sent to communities that rely on fuels such as diesel, kerosene and wood to create light.

During Education Week they will be presenting at the ResourceSmart Sustainability Student Summit in Bendigo. They have been very successful in a range of sustainability-related competitions over the past few years.

Their 2019 Market Day was recognised as a two-star certified Waste Wise event by the Shire of Campaspe.

The Green Team implemented a range of initiatives to reduce the use of plastic and waste.

For example, plastic straws were banned and a hydration station was sourced from Goulburn Valley Water promoting Colbinabbin’s clean tap water and reducing the need to sell bottled water.

Reusable cups were provided and, through a range of media promotions, the public were encouraged to bring a refillable bottle.

The public were also asked to bring their reusable hot drink cup for use at the coffee van, which also had ‘keep cups’ available for purchase.

Food was served on biodegradable bamboo plates and real cutlery was used.

A waste station was created where food scraps and composting materials were collected. Bins were clearly marked so very little cross contamination of landfill and recycling occurred. Stallholders were asked to support our Waste Wise initiative. Pleasingly, no stallholders used single use plastic bags. The Colbinabbin Boomerang Bag group conducted an activity where people could decorate a Boomerang Bag and then use it for their shopping.

‘‘We have just embarked on a new initiative, with the support of the Shire of Campaspe, where we will be a collection point for soft plastics so these can be recycled and then the material will be used to make park benches,’’ she said.

The Green Team are currently working on a marketing campaign to promote this initiative.

‘‘Our planet’s survival is in the hands of the young people of our communities. Colbinabbin and district can be assured the their young people are eager to work towards a greener and more sustainable future,’’ Ms MacLean said.