Posted 28 July 2016 - 11:30am
Authored by: Dr Vanessa Rauland
An innovative pilot program for schools begins eighteen months of action to reduce carbon emissions. The pioneering Low Carbon Schools Pilot Program, facilitated by SimplyCarbon in partnership with City of Fremantle and the CRC for Low Carbon Living is officially kicking off 18 months of action with fifteen schools from across Metropolitan Perth.
The schools have committed to reducing their carbon emissions over a two-year period. The program began in February this year with a series of information workshops where school principals, teachers and staff, as well as parents were up-skilled with the knowledge needed to reduce resource consumption, carbon emissions and costs in their school. Hugh McCracken, Principal at Palmyra Primary school, thought his school was already a long way down the road of sustainability, but has said they have learnt a lot more by being involved in the program. “The opportunity to hear and speak to specific area specialists has been a huge advantage along with the networking opportunities of like minded educators and school community members.”
Each school has developed their own unique Action Plan to reduce their emissions and will be implementing it over the next 18 months. Schools will meet monthly to share progress, experiences and to discuss partnership opportunities with local businesses and organisations. To engage and inspire students at the schools, SimplyCarbon has partnered with Millennium Kids Inc, a youth-led organisation committed to improving the environment through constructive action. Millennium Kids Inc provides workshops to the schools, to empower students to identify, develop and project-manage their own carbon reduction initiatives in their schools.
“There are so many opportunities for students to learn about sustainability, resource efficiency and carbon reduction by using their schools as case studies and living laboratories. Much of this knowledge can also be taken back and applied in their homes,” said Dr Vanessa Rauland, Co-Founder SimplyCarbon. Curtin University MPhil student, Portia Odell, has received a scholarship from the CRC for Low Carbon Living to examine the social impact of the program, with a focus on its ability to reduce carbon emissions and engage the wider community around low carbon living.
“The program so far has demonstrated how important a sense of community is when pursuing such a big and complicated challenge like carbon reduction. It will be interesting to see what role students can play in this process and what impact this can have on the community,” said Portia. The program is the first of its kind in Australia and has attracted interest from several local councils, with City of Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville sponsoring 12 of the 15 schools.
Dr Vanessa Rauland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
0422 865 776