Brentwood Secondary College enthusiastically participated in Clean Up Australia Day, led by their Green Team. The Green Team consists of 45 student volunteers in years 7-9, all interested and engaged in making a healthier environment for us all. The Green Team was originally founded by Thea Nicholas, a former teacher at Brentwood and now School Engagement leader at Cool Australia. Currently, Simon Steele is the Sustainability Coordinator and Green Team leader at Brentwood. Along with running the Green Team, he works at integrating sustainability into the curriculum, using the Cool Australia resources to do so.
On Clean Up Australia Day, the volunteers cleaned up rubbish on their school grounds and encouraged all the students to lend a helping hand. This was also a good opportunity to recruit the volunteers of the future, and by sharing their experiences in planting a successful garden that the whole school enjoys, they were able to spark some interest. The garden is used by the Green Team to plant seasonal vegetables that they take home and enjoy with their families, or sell to the teachers at a modest profit. All proceeds raised are then reinvested into the next season’s plants.
It’s easy to build excitement around the garden when you have two adorable rabbit mascots, Thea and Eva. These rabbits live in the garden and are taken care of by the Green Team on a roster basis. During school holidays, a volunteer takes care of them at home, and this most recent Easter break saw a volunteer not only watching them, but taking them in for their annual vet checkup with proceeds raised by the Green Team through a very successful school-wide bake sale.
Regular activities for the Green Team include an Energy Audit that is taken on by the volunteers and monitors energy usage in the classrooms (air-conditioning, light switches, etc.). They use the information gathered to make eco-friendly changes in energy usage in the classroom.
Schools like Brentwood Secondary College inspire us with their dedication and enthusiasm in helping our environment. We look forward to working with them during Enviroweek 2013!