By Brendan Rees
Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera has congratulated Barton Primary School for reducing its environmental impact through the Victorian Government’s ResourceSmart Schools program.
The Cranbourne West school was awarded a one star certification for completing the required ResourceSmart Schools modules and meeting benchmarks for energy usage and waste reduction.
Schools participating in the program are awarded up to five stars for completing modules in relation to water, waste, energy, biodiversity and provided with assistance from sustainability experts.
“This certification recognises the great work of the dedicated teachers and staff at the school,” Mr Perera said.
He also encouraged other schools in the region to sign up for the ResourceSmart Schools program if they haven’t already.
“The program gives kids fantastic, hands on understanding of sustainability and the environment,” he said.
Barton Primary School principal Andrew Felsinger said students had embraced environmentally-friendly practices.
“It’s been a very successful program and instrumental in us reducing our waste and our landfill,” he said.
“It’s been embraced by our parent group, they’re very supportive of it, the kids love it and at assembly each week we count up the number of pieces of rubbish we have per grade and the school with the lowest average for the week ends up getting a Zero Hero trophy.”
Mr Felsinger said the school encouraged students to avoid bringing food in wrappers and paper bags.
“All that the food that the kids bring to school is in a lunch box which is sealed. They’re all reusable, they have their snacks, have their lunch and then take the containers home.”
He also added the school’s Environmental Education teacher Catherine Medwin had also been instrumental in obtaining the school’s first star certification.
ResourceSmart Schools is a free Victorian Government program available to all Victorian schools.
So far it has saved 21 million through energy, waste and water savings and prevented more than 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere since 2008.