Promoting ecological conversion and environmental sustainability
At St Brigid's, our students and staff take an active role in being stewards of creation and 'caring for our common home’.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, our school community understands that we have to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century with creative and thoughtful planning, education and concrete actions that can make a difference to the health of our planet, all people and all creatures.
The importance we place on caring for the environment is encapsulated in our school gospel value of stewardship: ‘We are inspired to live our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation by being proactive stewards, taking responsibility for the care of our common home and one another’.
Our commitment to being responsible members of Planet Earth is evident in our classroom learning and teaching, the prayer and liturgical life of our school, our resource and grounds management, and whole school planning for community initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our environment and our relationships with one another.
Our St Brigid's school community is involved in a range of initiatives that empower our students to support the ongoing care of creation through:
- Student Environmental Club
- Curriculum integration of environmental awareness and sustainability
- Participation in environmental action and awareness initiatives ('Green Days') – including Clean Up Australia Day, Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Environment Day, Tree Day and National Recycling Week
- Outdoor learning spaces
- Vegetable, herb and fruit gardens
- A waste management system that includes recycling and participation in the ‘Vinnies Return and Earn’ scheme
- Subpod composting system
- Waste-free or nude-food lunches
- Eco-friendly infrastructure – including solar panels, water tanks, sub-pods, LED lighting and sensor lighting
- Green ethical catering
- Dedicated staff environmental coordinator
- Staff professional development to support student and school environmental learning and action
- Physical ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ on school grounds
- Celebration of the ‘World Day of Prayer of the Care of Creation’ and the ‘Season of Creation’
- Earned an Environmental Education Grant to further our environmental projects
- Active members of the Wollongong Environment Network
Our school also has a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) which identifies and plans for our key environmental actions and projects. These include:
- Incorporation of ecological themes in liturgy and prayer and acknowledgment of key environmental days
- A subpod in-garden compost system that uses worms and microbes to compost organic waste
- Installation of a large 42kw solar photovoltaic system to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity
- A school-wide waste management system that is sustainable and part of everyday practice
- Establishment of a large herb and vegetable garden
- The inclusion of sustainability principles, ecological conversion and stewardship into our newly launched vision and mission statement
For more information, visit the CEDoW Wollongong Environment Network