Come Wednesday at The Scots College Early Learning Centre, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single biscuit wrapper or crushed up juice box littering the floor. Instead as you step through the gates, a swarm of boys as young as 3 will greet you, expounding sustainable practices and pridefully presenting their reusable lunchboxes.
In a bid to create an eco-conscious environment and educate boys from an early age on the principles of sustainability, ‘Waste Free Wednesdays’ were introduced at the Early Learning Centre in August. Boys in the Centre were encouraged to bring morning teas and lunches in reusable containers with separate sections, thus reducing the need for packaging.
“Previously, we had boys bringing brown paper bags, which simply go into the waste bin every day. We calculated this at approximately 50,000 paper bags every year in the Early Learning Centre alone. Our hope, in creating a more sustainable school, is that boys will start with Wednesdays and then adopt the same mindfulness and approach into their everyday lives,” explained Kindergarten teacher Mrs Markie Calle.
The implications are clear – as a result of this initiative, the College has reduced their amount of landfill rubbish, decreased the amount of greenhouse gases generated in producing packaging, and lunches are also a much healthier affair. Students have also exulted in the positive impact that each boy is making to the environment.
“At Scots, we believe in a well-rounded education that encompasses character and care. Our students leave the Preparatory School as engaged and compassionate citizens of the world,” commented Head of the Preparatory School – Deputy Principal, Mr John Crerar.
“Instilling a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the environment in our youngest of students, is just one way we educate for the whole boy.”
So far Waste Free Wednesdays has seen tremendous success with classes across the Centre finishing the day with less than three pieces of rubbish in total. Determined to extend this enthusiasm and deepen commitment to a sustainable way of living, staff at the Centre have also installed a new recycling bin and worm towers for recycling food scraps. At the same time, disposable coffee cups, containers and cutlery for staff are being phased out across the entire College.
Photo: Teachers Ms Samantha Nealson and Mrs Markie Calle with Kindergarten students Harry Flett and Sebastian Cheng.