Sustainability Education

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Would you like to make your school more sustainable? Are you looking for exciting and practical ideas to incorporate sustainability into your school program?

Council supports schools to implement sustainability education programs and initiatives. At its core, sustainable living is about well-being: a connected community, education and employment, a healthy environment, sustainable industry and reliable infrastructure. For more information and curriculum aligned resources, visit www.cairns.qld.gov.au/sustainability

Cairns ECOfiesta

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Opportunity for schools or individual classes to exhibit their sustainability projects and achievements to the wider community. The Cairns ECOfiesta celebrates our unique natural environment and the businesses and organisations working to balance environmental, social and economic considerations for a sustainable, secure and vibrant future.

ECOfiesta

Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre

Phone 4055 9300 or contact via email the.principal@hollowayseec.eq.edu.au

Great excursion destination for schools in the Cairns area. The centre brings education to life, providing real-life learning experiences to foster knowledge, skills and values for building a sustainable future.

2015 Enrichment Program

In 2014 the Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre (HBEEC) introduced a new program to cater for gifted and talented students at primary schools in the Cairns area called the Cairns District Schools Science and Environmental Sustainability Enrichment Program.

Council entered into an agreement to contribute funding towards The Program for a period of 3 years. The Program is aimed at engaging talented and gifted Year 5 students in applying science to real issues. Students are required to identify, develop and facilitate community sustainability initiatives and develop partnerships with industry experts.

Holloways 1Holloways 2

Reef Guardian School Program

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Council is an active member of the Reef Guardian Program and can provide advice and support to schools who are also members of the Reef Guardian Program. The Reef Guardian Schools Program creates awareness, understanding and appreciation for the reef and its connected ecosystems.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has some great resources to help students learn about the reef and the role we all share in protecting it.

Reef Guardian Logo

Reverse Graffiti Stencils

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Turtle stencils cut from old street signs that can be used for temporary signage on pathways and walls through chalk art or reverse graffiti.

Gordonvale State School StencilsRedlynch Stencil 2Stencil

Solar Tool Kit

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Schools can borrow the portable, interactive Solar Tool Kit to help students learn about renewable energy. The kit features a fan, radio, fluorescent lamp, LCD display, buzzer and energy monitor.

Solar Panels

Waste and Recycling Education

Phone 4044 8352 or contact via email council@cairns.qld.gov.au

Council's waste education project officer is available to assist schools, local business and community groups to plan, implement and evaluate waste education activities.

What waste and recycling services does council provide for schools?

Schools are entitled to the following services:

* 240 Litre wheelie bin recycling services
* Waste and recycling tours
* Assistance to develop waste action plans
* Information for waste and recycling school audits
* School presentations
* Waste education resources

Recycling services

Council is offering a free recycling service to all schools within the Cairns region.The allocation of recycling bins has been based on the number of students per school, serviced during the school terms. If your school does not have recycling, please contact council on 4044 3044.

Waste and Recycling YouTube education resources 

To redirect to the Cairns Regional Council You Tube site, please choose from the following resources:

  • Recycle Right Cairns Regional Council's new Recycle Right website helps you figure out which common household rubbish items can/can't be recycled and tells you which bin to put them in. 
  • Recycling your waste around the house How and why to reduce waste in your wheelie bins. 
  • Reuse to reduce waste Re-using things is great way to reduce our waste. See how and why to reuse your items instead of throwing them away. 
  • Our Region's waste / recycling story This is a great educational tool for schools. A complete detailed description of what happens to waste and recycling in the Cairns Region. 
  • Our recycling story A great educational tool for schools. Provides more detailed on recycling in the Cairns region. 
  • Contaminated recycling Contaminated recyclables such as gas bottles, dirty nappies, sharps and hazardous waste can be harmful and dangerous to the people who sort out your rubbish at the materials recovery facility. 
  • Recycling hazardous items Hazardous items are dangerous for the people who sort our rubbish and recyclables in the Cairns region. 
  • Sorting out the silly season Watch this video to learn about taking care of the environment by recycling thoughtfully during the Christmas and New Year period.  

Waste education resources

Council can assist schools and community groups with waste action plans, waste and recycling audit packs and information to support sustainable plans for school and community groups. This includes education curriculum, presentations, posters, images and tours.

Qld state government has a series of sample waste profiles to help schools and community groups understand what the likely composition of their waste is and what waste streams can be reduced, reused or recycled.

Planet Ark has released Second Nature - Recycling in Australia report. This page has additional resources and information for teachers and students.

Waste and recycling tours

The Waste and Recycling tour provides a fun, informative and first-hand look at waste and recycling for school and community groups and is a free service provided by Cairns Regional Council.

Visits to the materials recovery facility, Portsmith transfer station and the council buyback shop is an interesting and interactive learning experience for both school and community groups.

Please refer to Related Documents - Waste and recycling tour

For further information on waste services and resources or to book a waste and recycling tour, please contact council on 4044 3044 or download the Waste Tour Booking Form ( PDF, 0.36 MB ).

Phone 4044 8352 or contact via email council@cairns.qld.gov.au

Council can help your school with resources, tours and presentations on waste and recycling.

The following services are available for schools:
  • 240 litre wheelie bin recycling services - free recycling service to all schools
  • Waste and recycling tours
  • Assistance to develop waste action plans
  • Information for school waste and recycling audits
  • School presentations
  • Waste education resources
Waste educational resources:
  • Council can assist schools and community groups with waste action plans and waste and recycling audit packs
  • Information to support sustainable plans for school and community groups, including education curriculum, presentations, posters and images and tours
  • Waste and recycling YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/CouncilCairns
Free waste and recycling tours
  • Materials Recovery Facility, where you can learn what happens to your recycling once it leaves your house
  • Portsmith Transfer Station, including the Advanced Resource Recovery Facility and the Council buyback shop

Note: Tours may need to be cancelled in extreme weather conditions

Water and WasteWater and Waste 2

Water Education

Phone 4044 8352 or contact via email council@cairns.qld.gov.au

The treatment of water, whether it's producing clean fresh drinking water or treating sewage and wastewater, is a complicated process. There's a lot more involved in the water supply chain than meets the eye.

Council's water education project officer is available to assist schools, local business and community groups to plan, implement and evaluate water education activities.

What services does Council provide schools?

Council can facilitate presentations, resources and tours to learn more about Cairns water and wastewater operations. This includes its collection, treatment and supply of drinking water to customers and the use of recycled water to benefit local communities, businesses and the environment.

Topics covered in presentations and tours include:

  • Tips to use water efficiently
  • The water cycle
  • Water quality
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater treatment and water recycling
  • Environmental sustainability

Our educational services aim to reinforce Council's philosophy that "there's no place like our place - let's keep it that way".

Water education and resources

Council can provide posters and education content on local water storage and supply, treatment and recycling. Please refer to related documents.

Please view the Cairns Regional Council YouTube education resources:

  • Watering times. Watch this to learn when you can and can't water your gardens and lawns. These times are in affect year round
  • Why Cairns residents need to save water. Watch this video to learn why it is important for people living in the Cairns and Port Douglas regions of Australia to save water
  • How to save water in the home. Watch this video for ideas and tips about how to save water around your home.
  • Our water story. Providing detailed information on our water and wastewater supplies and treatment.
  • Water infrastructure. A technical account of water/wastewater infrastructure for professionals and specialist authorities (with subtitles).

The Queensland Government's water wise program has a number of resources to assist schools and community groups in profiling water saving tips.

Tours

Council can provide a range of FREE educational presentations and tours for schools and community groups which can be tailor-made to meet specific requirements and curriculum.

Council offer water tours to:

  • Copperlode Dam (Lake Morris)
  • Water intakes
  • Water Treatment Facilities
  • Wastewater Treatment PlantsCairns Water Laboratory

The tours are designed for community and school groups to become more familiar with how water is collected, purified and then treated once it's been used. The tour will also take in the wider issues of community health and the vital long-term maintenance of the Cairns waterways and environment

For further information on water services and resources or to book a water tour, please contact Council on (07) 4044 3044 or download our Tour Booking Form ( PDF, 0.26 MB ).

2015 Enrichment Program Special Mention

In 2014 the Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre (HBEEC) introduced a new program to cater for gifted and talented students at primary schools in the Cairns area called the Cairns District Schools Science and
Environmental Sustainability Enrichment Program. Council entered into an agreement to contribute funding towards The Program for a period of 3 years.  The Program is aimed at engaging talented and gifted Year 5 students in applying science to real issues. Students are required to identify, develop and facilitate community sustainability initiatives and develop partnerships with industry experts.

In November 2015 students from Freshwater State School, Redlynch State College, Trinity Beach State School and Whitfield State School showcased their environmental initiatives to a packed crowd at the HBEEC Enrichment Program celebration evening held at the Cairns James Cook University Campus. 

One excellent example of the incredible efforts of our 2015 student group is Oscar Ennis-Thomas, who presented his research to the group using a brilliant animation he created called 'Clean Water - Healthy Food Chain'.   Oscar's video can be viewed on youtube by clicking here.

Phone 4044 8352 or contact via email council@cairns.qld.gov.au

Council can help your school with resources, tours and presentations on water conservation, production and supply.

Thrive Campaign

A clever and interactive advertising campaign designed to educate Cairns residents in outdoor water use as part of a strategy to reduce water demand.

Waste education resources:

Free educational school presentations and tours are provided on the following topics:

  • Thrive App – helping students to work out how much water a garden really needs and to choose plants that are less reliant on watering.
  • Tips to use water efficiently
  • The water cycle
  • Water quality
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater treatment and water recycling
  • Environmental sustainability
Free tours to water facilities (years 7-12):
  • Copperlode Dam (Lake Morris)
  • Freshwater Treatment Plant
  • Marlin Coast, Northern and Southern Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Cairns Water Laboratory (recommended for years 11-12)

Note: Tours may need to be cancelled in extreme weather conditions

Free educational YouTube resources covering:

Visit www.youtube.com/user/CouncilCairns

Water sponge people

Great Northern Clean UP

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Every September Cairns Regional Council supports the Great Northern Clean Up (Northern Australia’s version of Clean up Australia Day) through community promotion and the collection of rubbish bags at pre-arranged pick up points. Support provided by Council includes:

Planning and Environment: provides a single point of contact for community and school enquiries and identification of pick-up points

Infrastructure Services: collection of rubbish at pick-up points

Water and Waste: free entry to waste and recycling facilities

Sustainability grants

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Community Sustainability Grant

Bring your project to life with a Community Sustainability Grant from Cairns Regional Council!

If you are part of a non-profit group operating in the Cairns local government area, you can apply for up to $5000 to deliver a project across a range of sustainability topics from energy and water efficiency through to food sovereignty, biodiversity conservation and community education.

Nature-based Learning Grant

With sustainability being recognised as a cross-curriculum priority in the National Curriculum, the scope for innovative, holistic outdoor learning is greater than it ever has been. In the Cairns region, this scope is further enhanced by the education opportunities presented by the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Schools in the Cairns local government area can apply for up to $2000 per year to help fund nature-based excursions to a range of locations including rainforest or reef, farms, community gardens, wildlife parks, environmental education centres and places of cultural heritage.

Tropical building design

Phone 4044 3253 or contact via email sustainability@cairns.qld.gov.au

Cool Homes: smart design for the tropics

Designing for the tropics is essential in our climate. If your home is not designed correctly, you run the risk of having a hot home that is expensive to keep cool, particularly over the long, hot and humid summer.

Cool Homes Guide

Showcasing environmentally sustainable design, crucial for emerging builders and architects in the region, whilst aligning with the cross-curriculum priority of sustainability. The guide can also assist students studying Graphic and those entering the Business Liaison Association’s Industrial Technology and Design (INTAD) Awards to design a tropical home. Contact the Cairns Regional Council Sustainability team to request a hard copy.

The Cool Homes Plan Analysis Tool

Essential for anyone building, buying or renovating in the tropics.  You can use this transparent overlay to assess the sustainability of your house plans. Print the overlay on tracing paper, or contact the Cairns Regional Council Sustainability team and request a transparent hard copy.

Cairns Style Guide

The Cairns Style Guide showcases the distinct and unique character of the region's built environment. It encourages the development industry to provide streetscapes, housing and building designs that retain and enhance this character and respond to our tropical environment, climate, local character, and community needs.

Cairns Style is a broad concept ranging from the overall pattern and rhythm of streets to the detail of window awnings and balustrades. Retaining and enhancing the distinct tropical style and character of Cairns will improve the region's aesthetics, amenity, and liveability.

Last updated: 02 November 2016