According to Senior Business Development Manager at Flow Power, Tricia Lorenzo, it’s crucial for schools to take a forward-thinking approach when it comes to sustainability. She discusses some tips on creating future-proofed school sustainability strategies.
From driving down costs to bringing new students through the door, schools that take the lead on sustainability can show leadership in an increasingly important area. And it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Sustainability strategies can mean anything from small changes in the classroom to switching up utilities.
We’ve rounded up some tips for a future-proofed sustainability strategy, to help your school take the lead towards a lower carbon future.
Waste not, want not
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure or valuable education resource. Lunch boxes and canteens can create lots of rubbish. Instead of having students bin and forget, why not look at how organic waste, like food scraps and plant clippings, could become a source of learning.
Worm farms can turn waste that would normally go to landfill into an engaging way to teach students about sustainable practices and responsibility. They have endless curriculum opportunities too, from Maths and Literacy to Biology.
From Europe to inner-city Sydney, students across the world are pushing for a future powered by renewables, and schools are perfectly positioned to help make this a reality.
It’s now easier than ever to power your school with renewables. While your school may be looking into on-site solar, you may not have heard of PPAs.
These deals are like having wind and solar on-site, without the need for any infrastructure. Instead, they connect schools with the low-cost generation from large-scale wind and solar farms.
Powering better education
The benefits of switching to renewables aren’t just limited to lowering power costs and your environmental impact. You can also bring renewables into the classroom.
From live data streams to site-visits, schools can engage students on where their power comes from, how it works and what it means to them. Technology, like the kWatch Intelligent Controller, can be installed at your school’s meter to capture live data on your energy use.
And programs like Solar Schools support students to understand the impact of the solar on their roof.
Plastic free for the future
If your school has a canteen, chances are it’s stocked with single-use plastics. Not only are these items a drain on budgets but they’re also a burden on the environment.
Sustainable options like metal straws and reusable cutlery can be dropped off and cleaned after lunch, ready for the next meal. Single use sauce packets could be switched out to self-serve containers.
Outside of schools, organisations like Seaside Scavenge and The Story of Stuff can help students see the full cycle of plastic waste. This helps students make better choices and advocate for a cleaner future.
Make every drop count
Water is a precious resource. From water bubblers and bathrooms, to school grounds and cleaning, it’s a key resource that all schools rely heavily on.
Looking at how your school uses water helps identify areas where you can recycle water or cut back on how much your school is using.
It can be as simple as installing water recycling systems to water school grounds or installing rain water tanks. In fact, why not bring it into the classroom? You can ask students to get behind a water audit and help identify water-saving measures.
Sustainability is the first step towards future-proofing for schools. It’s also an avenue for building greater engagement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programs, giving students a chance to look at real-world applications of STEM skills.
From energy use to recycling, schools can make the most of these initiatives to connect students with the real world, helping them think and apply solutions for their future.