The Sustainable Spartans have been hard at work paving a sustainable pathway for the Somerset College community to follow. As a committee, we have created proposals, raised awareness, and most importantly, we have taken real action to bring us a step closer to a sustainable future for the College.
From the Senior Sustainable Spartans
One driving focus has been to reduce plastic usage within the College and since 2017 we have made progress. Plastic cutlery has been replaced for bamboo alternatives in the Bird and Bush and we have sewn fabric bags (Bounce Bags) out of old College uniforms to replace single-use plastic bags. The initiative to eliminate plastic bags ties in with the Queensland Plastic Bag Ban being implemented 1 July when retailers will be banned from providing customers with single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags under 35 microns, including compostable, degradable and biodegradable plastic shopping bags.
Along with our current successes, the Sustainable Spartans continue to discuss and develop new ideas for future change. Currently, we are undertaking a task to implement sustainability into Storyfest 2019. The committee is looking to propose a sustainability policy for the festival, create guidelines and ideas for sponsors and other festival contributors regarding sustainability and come up with a waste management strategy.
Although the Sustainable Spartans are split into three sectors, each group helps the other work towards the ultimate goal of a sustainable Somerset College. Recently all committees took part in organising and creating a whale art installation on the Towers Quad, using plastic bags. This was a Primary Years Programme (PYP) led initiative, and the committee was able to collect over 2100 plastic bags to create the whale. The art installation successfully communicated our message, being the importance of recycling soft plastics and to celebrate the ban of single use plastic bags in July.
Sustainable Spartans are always open to new ideas and suggestions from the community, and are looking for new members. The Senior committee especially need volunteers to provide assistance in sewing more Bounce Bags for the Bird and Bush. Our next major sewing day will be held on Friday 22 June from 8.00am until 12.00noon. All help, from students, staff and parents, will be greatly appreciated in working towards a sustainable future for our College.
By Uni Kyeong, Valerie Fang and Meghan Rooney, Year 12 Students
From the Junior Sustainable Spartans
The PYP Communication Team is working on effectively promoting our vision for sustainability to the College. We have brainstormed ideas for slogans and sent in various pictures, with the idea to create catchy signs such as, “If you’re out – lights are out”. Our intention is to bring as many people on board to also work toward a sustainable College. Another idea the Communication Team will be promoting in Term Three is Waste Free Wednesdays.
By Mia Richards, Year 5W
In the PYP Recycling Depot Team we’ve been inquiring into the various day to day items that can be recycled, such as, paper, soft plastics, cardboard and ink cartridges. Each member of the Recycling Depot Team has been assigned an item to research and discover whether it is recyclable. We are working on installing numerous recycling bins in eating areas on College grounds, as well as working towards adding the largest recycling bin beneath the loading dock stairs next to the Bird and Bush. As a team, we’re aiming to recycle as many items as possible.