WITH close to one million Victorian students commencing the 2019 academic year, Sustainability Victoria is reminding parents, and their children, to ‘do school sustainably’.
Sustainability Victoria CEO, Stan Krpan, said there’s a lot that parents can do to make a difference, set an example and teach their kids some real-life skills at the same time.
“With the War on Waste inspiring many schools to be more sustainable we hope to see parents and students taking action too. There are small changes we can make each day to become more sustainable at home and school,” he said.
Mr Krpan said Sustainability Victoria has several top tips for going back to school sustainably including joining their ResourceSmart Schools Program.
“We guide school communities through the sustainability journey, step by step, with a series of modules on waste, biodiversity, water and energy. More than 500 Victorian primary and secondary schools are part of the program, it’s free and any Victorian school can join.”
Mr Krpan said kids can make their own lunches and use containers suited to nude food.
“This eliminates the need for single-use plastic or aluminium foil wrapping. Reusable beeswax wraps can replace plastic cling wrap for sandwiches and snacks.
“They can be bought online, at markets or homeware stores, or get the kids involved and make some at home. Find an online tutorial, or check if a local neighbourhood house or community centre run courses.”
Buying larger containers of drinks and yoghurts to cut down on packaging and decant into a thermos to avoid single serve packaging; make homemade snacks and encourage students to use the school’s compost bins or bring home their scraps for yours.
“Despite what they say, kids will find time for an activity if they are inspired. Kill boredom and give the kids a life skill by teaching them to make their own muesli bars, slices, and other snacks to save oodles of plastic packaging waste,” Mr Krpan said.
“Use the Love Food Hate Waste website to get great recipes to use last night’s leftovers in exciting ways for school (and work) lunches. While you’re at it, try the Love a List challenge to reduce your food bills and food waste, with a simple meal plan and shopping list.
“If your teenagers are in the habit of buying a latte or smoothie before or after school, a reusable cup is a solid investment.”
Other advice included recycling last year’s stationary, utilising the secondhand book and uniform shop and sourcing a desk second-hand.
For more information on living sustainably and a detailed list of handy hints head to sustainability.vic.gov.au or lovefoodhatewaste.vic.gov.au.