St Joseph’s, Albion Park has used this year’s EnviroWeek to celebrate and further their fantastic efforts to build environmental awareness, action and a strong school spirit around caring for creation.
St Joseph's Environmental Coordinator and PD/H/PE teacher, Natalie Behl, said the week running from 22 - 28 October was an opportunity for students and teachers to be involved in engaging, eco-friendly initiatives and realise the positive impact that their individual choices and collective school behaviours were having on the environment.
“Our War on Waste Club and the rest of the school community have been working hard for a couple of years to get where we are today. For example, we now have a FOGO bin, recycling bin, Vinnies container returns bin, a soft plastics bin and a landfill bin in our bin pods across the school. We also have FOGO bins in some of our practical classrooms,” she said.
“Our canteen has also jumped on board by making meaningful changes to reduce waste, such as using paper straws, soft plastics, and recyclable lunch containers. Every effort makes a difference...and the more activities we do, the more awareness we create.”
EnviroWeek gave our Albion Park secondary school a chance to showcase their sustainability initiatives, while connecting with their local environment. They held themed activities to keep inspiring and empowering students to be ‘part of the solution’ by adopting environmentally friendly and responsible practices at home, school and beyond.
A highlight of the week was welcoming Sarah and Jasmine from Plastic Free Kiama to run a workshop showing staff and students how to turn old t-shirts into reusable bags. The event was a big hit, with many students bringing a shirt and joining in. Not only was the workshop fun, but it served as a constructive, hands-on experience to increase awareness about the importance of reducing plastic bags and show those gathered how simple it can be to reuse and repurpose items they already had.
Year 7 student, Helena, said she enjoyed being able to make her own reusable bag to take away and use, instead of having to resort to plastic bags. Michael from Year 9 also took part in making a bag to be able to decrease the amount of plastic being used, and said he enjoyed the idea of using old things to make new things.
Plastic Free Kiama’s Sarah and Jasmine said they loved interacting with the community to spread a positive message about rethinking waste and reducing our plastic footprint.
“We had a blast running the T-shirt bag workshop with the kids and teachers from St Joseph's!” they said.
“The kids made some great bags that they intended to use for shopping, library books, wrapping presents and even for ‘trick or treating’! We even made some hair ties from the shirt sleeve offcuts.”
Later in the week, the students and staff also participated in a whole-school waste free lunchbox day. The opportunity brought out an encouraging mix of student involvement - from those who have these ‘nude food’ lunches every day already, to some who were giving it a go for the first time and realising how easy it was!
Every person who bought in a waste free lunch also received a raffle ticket to go into the draw to win lunch at the canteen for a week. Congratulations to the winner - Chelsea L from Year 8.
These wonderful green initiatives held at St Joseph’s for EnviroWeek are the tip of a robust, ongoing commitment from the school community to reduce, reuse, recycle; engage students in being active and informed citizens; and protect the environment in many beneficial ways.
Well done Joey’s, keep up the great work!