Cultivating Environmental Virtue on World Environment Day Posted on Wednesday 5 June 2019 Cultivating Environmental Virtue on World Environment Day Cultivating Environmental Virtue on World Environment Day Cultivating Environmental Virtue on World Environment Day Cultivating Environmental Virtue on World Environment Day Today is World Environment Day, the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our precious environment. Our College theme for 2019 – Cultivating Environmental Virtue – presents an invitation to our College community members to develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues with the intention of influencing thoughts and actions. To date, the College theme has been enthusiastically embraced by staff and students alike. This week we have launched Stage 1 of our sustainable waste management program with the placement of 10 commingled bins around the College grounds. These bins will reduce the general waste we produce daily at the College, thereby increasing our recycling efforts, and reducing our environmental impact. Our waste management plan also includes the introduction of food organics bins and composting. 2019 has also seen the enlistment of our student body with the development of a Student Environment Advisory Council who will be holding an event to mark World Environment Day after the completion of their exams. Students are also sharing information on the new waste management program during assembly. The College has also invested significantly in renewable solar energy with our new Inspiring Innovations project and the utilisation of solar panels. We’ve developed a recycling program for paper, high impact polystyrene and batteries. We’ve reviewed our purchasing and operations in our cafeteria with a sustainability lens and implemented improvements where applicable. We’ve commenced the environmentally sensitive purchasing of recycled products. We’ve produced College water bottles to avoid single-use plastic bottled water, along with sustainable cutlery and straw sets and shopping bags, all of which were available for purchase at the Community Day Fair. And we’ve increased the opportunities for our students to chose VCE and IBDP electives that pertain to the study of the environment. The United Nation’s global theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Take Action to Beat Air Pollution’. We invite all members of our College community to consider individual efforts that can contribute to the greater good and protect our shared environment. Some tips on how you can personally contribute to the reduction of air pollution include: Turning off the car engine when stationary and utilising the Start-Stop system on your vehicle if applicable Ensure car tyres are properly inflated Using public transport or carpooling, cycling or walking Switching to a hybrid or electric car Composting organic food items Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste Reducing meat and dairy consumption to help reduce methane emissions Saving energy by turning off lights and electronics when not in use Switching to high-efficiency home heating systems Use energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances Look for the energy star label when purchasing home or office equipment Keep car, boat, and other engines properly tuned Choosing non-toxic paints and furnishings Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use Whilst we recognise that we are only in the initial stages of our pursuit, together we are making progress and remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainability.