It has been a busy first semester for the Tintern Grammar Green Team. Our main objective this term has been to finalise our ideas for a compost bin system and to work on correct waste disposal at school functions. The Green Team is very proud to announce that all areas of the school now have compost bins!
The composts bins (recycled paint buckets generously donated by Year 8 student Natasha’s father) are stationed around the campus and have been painted by Green Team members. We would really appreciate it if all students, staff and visitors could make an effort to use these bins to make sure that Tintern does not unnecessarily contribute to landfill. Another achievement this term has been the removal of plastic spoons, plates and containers from staff morning teas. Both of these changes have come from the campaigning and commitment of Green Team members led by our hard-working captains, Erin and Julia.
As part of the Green Team’s overall goal to reduce the impact our school community has on the environment, we have had members present at several recent school functions and promote correct waste disposal to limit the amount of rubbish we are sending into landfill. As part of our waste management program, we organised clearly signposted composts bins, soft plastic/comingle recycling and landfill bins for both the Mother’s Day Breakfast on Friday 10 May and the Friends of Music Jazz Night on Saturday 18 May.
The Mother’s Day Breakfast is the largest school function of the year with over 400 guests and students and the Jazz Night is another large event with 250 people in attendance this year. Volunteer helpers from Years 8, 9 and 11 assisted with sorting and washing plastic containers so they could be repurposed, as well as making sure that waste was going into the correct bins. At the end of Jazz Night, the Green Team members conducted a waste audit with the following results:
- 1 large wheelie bin of comingle recycles
- 2 medium size shopping bags of soft plastics (recyclable)
- 2 buckets of compost
After this year’s Jazz Night, there were only two small garbage bags destined for landfill, whereas in previous years there have been three medium wheelie bins of rubbish. This felt like a real achievement for the Green Team as it demonstrated the difference we can make as a group when we address the environmental issues that are present in our school community. Following these successes, Green Team members will be helping out at the Year 9 House Showdown and the Junior School Cabaret in the last week of term.
The next project on our agenda is the trial of a new ‘bin station’ system, whereby the bins in individual classrooms will be removed and replaced by a five-bin system in central locations. These five bins will cater for compost, paper, soft plastics, landfill and mixed recyclables. The Green Team Captains met with the Middle School Girls’ Form Captains to discuss this proposal and made an action plan for implementing the system in the Middle Schools at the beginning of next term. The aim of this system is to encourage students to think about disposing their waste in a more sustainable way.
Hopefully, you have all seen the Annual Appeal video which was released last week to the school community. The focus of this year’s appeal is to raise funds for sustainable projects around the school, in particular, the solar panels and battery storage system in the Science Wing. Nine members of the Green Team from Years 5, 8 and 12 were chosen to voice their opinions about sustainability in this video and they were thrilled to spend an afternoon sharing their ideas and showcasing the new compost system.
Overall, we are really happy and proud of what we have achieved this semester. Working together for a common cause has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience for all of us and seeing our plans come into action and begin to affect positive change in the school community has been absolutely incredible. The Green Team has no plans of slowing down next term and we are excited to see more of our ideas become reality. We will continue to update the school community on the projects we are undertaking and, if you’d like to hear a bit more about what we’re up to, feel free to follow our Instagram page: @_the.greenteam
The Green Team
by Hannah, Year 11