Entries are now open for the ResourceSmart Education Awards, Victoria’s largest sustainability awards program for schools and early childhood services. Each school will be able to showcase their innovative ideas to be environmentally friendly and conscious and reap the rewards if successful when judged “best idea” – all winning schools and early childhood centers in each category will share in $40,000 prize money.
The theme for this year’s awards is ‘Imagine, Act, Inspire’. Each idea must coincide with this theme and can include ways in which energy is reduced, water and waste management and in particular how each school has spread their innovative ideas to the wider community so that they are also aware, but other ideas and creativity are always welcomed.
Stan Krpan, Sustainability Victoria CEO, has encouraged all schools to enter the competition as it is a good way of spreading their innovative ideas to a bigger audience, rather then just their confined community. Several schools enter the competition every single year and awards event enables schools to get their ideas seen and heard. So many schools do put in place initiatives so that they can remain environmentally friendly, however not all of them are acknowledged.
“Every day, Victorian children and students are working on innovative and interesting projects that engage them on environmentally sustainable practices,” Mr Krpan said. “It is great to see that so many Victorian schools and students are passionate about making positive changes in the environment for the next generation.”
As climate change is quite a prevalent issue and topic in today’s day and age, knowing that schools are making a concerted effort to enforce guidelines when it comes to how to be environmentally conscious, is quite encouraging for onlookers. It’s little and big things that are being showcased and encouraged, from turning the light off after being the last to leave a room to planting trees across the schoolyard. It all adds up, with figures in 2014 showing that ResourceSmart schools saved upwards of $3.8 million by reducing their water and energy consumption and generating less waste. Students at ResourceSmart schools are taught to implement environmentally friendly actions within their day to day lives so that it becomes a habit, this also creates a “ripple” effect to the student’s peers who also take on board the changes that must be made.
A key point to take from this is that all these initiatives and plans are intended to be prevalent in the long term rather than seeing short term results – everything won’t be fixed in a matter of weeks. All it takes is little, progressive steps towards bettering the climate of this world, exactly what a lot of schools attempt implement into their ideology as they don’t have the resources to do anything major, no one does. That’s why it must be a collective effort so that the effects are not only enjoyed between now and 50 years from now, but also our children, and our children’s children, they will be the ones populating what will hopefully be an environmentally sound place to be.
Think about the environment, and be conscious of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Every little bit matters.
For more information visit, www.resourcesmartschools.vic.gov.au