Is MECS Primary still a National Park?

A few years ago, we declared MECS Primary a ‘National Park’ with the slogan of ‘rubbish in and rubbish out’. You may have been wondering if we are still a National Park and if we are still committed to a more sustainable way of life at MECS. The answer is a resounding YES! We are totally committed to encouraging our community toward a more sustainable school and home life. We encourage all our students and ourselves to have a wrapper free lunch box thereby reducing rubbish both here at school, and in the environment in general. We want this to be a way of life here at MECS, not an add on. So if we seemed to have stopped talking about it with our parent body it is not because we have stopped caring, but rather because it is becoming our embedded practice and lifestyle at MECS Primary. We know we still have a way to go but we have made a good start. This is evident by our Middle Primary Term 3 Waste Audit:

‘Each year, it is our job in Middle Primary to conduct a Waste Audit to find out how much rubbish we are making daily here at school. We do this by collecting all of the bins from all over the school for one entire day and then we sort out and weigh the rubbish. We investigate whether we are being responsible with our resources and whether we are using our bins correctly across the school. After we have collected all of the data, we create graphs and compare them with other years to see where we are improving and where we still need to do better. We spend time thinking about further ways to reduce the amount of waste that we produce at MECS. We present these ideas to the school community. We also provide feedback to the classrooms and staffrooms about how well they are dealing with their rubbish, and what they can do to improve. We write a short letter to each class with this feedback and a copy of their graph. In our audit this year we found that MECS is working hard to be good stewards. We have reduced all types of waste and we are becoming better at remembering what rubbish to put in our different bins.



As a staff, we are also thinking about our choices and habits for good stewardship. At a recent meeting, the Primary staff explored our thoughts, ideas and understandings of our responsibilities in this area and came up with the following 2020 commitments as a start:

The Primary Staff will be committed to:

  1. reducing their photocopying and use of paper in general
  2. introducing and using, alongside the students, a Terracycle recycling program for pens and textas
  3. reducing laminating (which cannot be recycled), and using thicker paper instead
  4. trialling some more eco-friendly stationery
  5. thinking carefully about reducing paper wastage especially in future booklists for students
  6. being more vigilant/considerate in unnecessary air conditioner and heater usage
  7. running a more environmentally responsible staffroom e.g less plastic, less paper towel, using eco cleaning products

The Primary students will be part of a culture/program that:

  1. continues to consider responsible waste management, including composting, Terracycling, recycling, promoting rubbish free lunches 
  2. explores ideas for low waste lunches
  3. encourages them to be more aware of, and responsible for, energy usage
  4. encourages them to be more aware of, and responsible for, paper usage
  5. encourages them to play an active part in setting the standard in our environmental responsibilities  
  6. We will also continue to provide an oral care Terracycle recycle bin for the school community to use to recycle old toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes.                                                            



We know this is a journey and we don’t always get it right. Sometimes people forget, or are pressured by time and finances. That’s OK. This isn’t a guilt trip. It is about working on this together and helping each other. We often find our students are the greatest advocates for looking after the environment and they are the ones reminding us adults of what we need to be conscious of. Let’s keep on encouraging everyone in our community to be committed to caring for God’s world through sustainable practices. We all need to be reminded of how we can be better caretakers of this beautiful planet Earth. This is both our head, heart and hand response to our loving creator God.