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Would you like to make your school more sustainable? Are you looking for exciting and practical ideas to incorporate sustainability into your school program? See below for information on how Council supports schools to implement sustainability education programs and initiatives, or visit our Sustainability web pages for more.
Sustainability is a cross-curriculum priority in the Australian Curriculum which includes,
- understanding the ways social, economic and environmental systems interact to support and maintain human life
- appreciating and respecting the diversity of views and values that influence sustainable development
- participating critically and acting creatively in determining more sustainable ways of living.
- Nature Based Learning Grant: Apply for up to $2,000 from Council to help fund your school's next nature-based excursion.
- Water Education: Access free in-school visits for Prep to Year 12 through the 'Smarter with Our Water' program, download activities for Under 5's and curriculum-linked STEAM water activities.
- Waste Education: Tour local waste facilities, access in-school presentations, educational resources and bins to help your school reduce waste and 'Recycle Right'.
- Natural Hazards Education: Receive in-school presentations, access activities from Prep to Year 12 or book a tour of The Cairns Disaster Management Unit.
- Cairns District Schools Science and Environmental Sustainability Enrichment Program: Council supports this Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre program which partners talented Year 5 science students with industry mentors to develop sustainability projects in their schools and community.
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- Solar Tool Kit: Schools can borrow this portable solar panel briefcase to help students learn about renewable energy. The kit features a fan, radio, fluorescent lamp, buzzer and energy monitor.
- Reef Stencils: Made from old street signs, these can be used for chalk art or reverse graffiti (pressure cleaning) to encourage responsible litter disposal. The stencils include messages such as ‘bin your butts’ and ‘only rain down this drain’. The stencils help badge your school drains and gutters with turtle and fish stencils to create a visual connection between the land and the sea.
- Cool Homes Guide: Assists students to learn about tropical building design principles, crucial for emerging builders and architects in the region. The Guide may also assist students entering the Tropical Architecture Awards facilitated by the Business Liaison Association.
School Programs and Networks
- Reef Guardian Schools: This Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority program fosters awareness, understanding and appreciation for the Reef and its connected ecosystems. It helps connect students with community projects and has a suite of resources available.
- Australian Association for Environmental Education: Australia's peak professional body for Environmental Educators, with resources, professional development and networking opportunities available.
- Sustainable Schools Network: Provides opportunities for networking between students, business managers and teachers to embed sustainability in schools.
A community Clean Up is a great way to bring your community together for a cause that boosts community pride and creates a litter-free environment.
There are three types of Clean Ups held in the region:
Great Northern Clean Up
Held every September, the Great Northern Clean Up is timed just before the wet season to reduce the risk of litter entering our marine environment. Council coordinates sites across Cairns, and schools, business and community groups can register their own site or join an existing one. Visit our Great Northern Clean Up web page to find out how to join a crew near you!
Clean Up Australia Day
This national event is held in March across Australia. Visit the Clean Up Australia Day website for details and sites.
Everyday Clean Ups
Can't wait for one of the annual Clean Ups? You can hold a community Clean Up any time of year, just register your site with Clean Up Australia and contact Council to request rubbish collection 2 weeks ahead of the event.
Cairns Regional Council and Clean Up Australia support community Clean Ups. Simply:
Advocacy and Education
Collecting data on what you pick up at a Clean Up can contribute to research and education for improved litter management - find out how from the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Database.
To learn about the impacts of litter on our marine environment, head to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park website.