Environmental Programs for Schools

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1. Overview

Maribyrnong City Council provides a range of free waste and environmental education programs for schools and child care facilities.

These sessions teach students about how waste and recycling impact on the environment and how we can take simple actions to help reduce waste and save precious resources.  

There are up to 20 free waste education sessions available per year. Once all sessions are allocated, schools can be placed on a waiting list and advised when new bookings become available.

2. Sessions and Topics

The 4 Rs: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Prep - Grade 3)

Discover the benefits of embracing The 4Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

  • Explore waste from new exciting perspectives.
  • Investigate why the first Rs are the most important.
  • Learn about nature’s best recyclers – worms.
  • Play the Rethink Challenge Game.
  • Learn The 4Rs Rap.

A river's tale (Grade 3 & 4)

Explore the life of a river and discover why it is so important to conserve freshwater, and how our cities and activities can make changes to our local waterways. In this activity, students will become a character in the river’s tale and learn how they can positively or negatively influence the health of the creek. They will also learn about the water cycle, and find out the fundamental role rivers and creeks play in this global movement of water, before discussing strategies to improve the health of waterways.

What can I recycle? (Prep - Year 8)

Find out where our materials come from, what can and can’t be recycled, and how recyclable materials are sorted at a Materials Recovery Facility. The session also includes a fun recycling sorting game to test students’ knowledge about what can and can’t be recycled at home. To book your free session, contact Natasha Primo.

Worms and Mini-beasts (Prep - Grade 6)

Learn about exciting ways to process organic waste.

  • Explore the types of organic waste at your school and home.
  • Handle a real worm and learn about its role in the composting cycle.
  • Hunt for mini-beasts and learn about food webs and their importance to a healthy environment.
  • Learn about the life cycle of food.
  • Learn how to keep worm farms and compost heaps ‘healthy’.

Waste time line and 'in the bin' (Grade 3 - 6)

In this eye-opening 45 minute workshop, students will discover the history and timeline of our planet and discover the way that everyday items, such as plastic, have both changed the way we live, and our impact on the natural environment. Students will discover the different lifetimes of everyday products and how these break down in the environment, before taking part in a fun activity 'in the bin'.

Consumer Detectives (Grades 5 & 6)

In this 45 minute activity, students explore the true distance and cost of the products we eat every day. Students will conduct a ‘food miles’ audit of two meals, and will explore durable alternatives to disposable ones in a ‘Swap Shop’ activity. Students will learn how to assess the impact of products with excessive packaging, and will audit the waste in an average lunch-box. Consumer detectives is a great activity for student groups looking to reduce the impact of waste, and will discuss the practical benefits of bulk buying, as well as investigating plastic alternatives like corn-starch cutlery.

Australia 2050 (Grades 3-6 OR years 7-9)

In this exciting new activity, students will explore their personal vision of the future and imagine what our world will look like in 2050. Students will investigate where resources come from and how they are all connected to ecosystems, discuss some of the current issues in modern living and explore the concept of a ‘take-make-waste’ society, before building a ‘Green City’ using real-world, innovative ideas about living sustainably.

Do more with less workshop (Grade 6 - Year 12)

This full day workshop is perfect for green teams or single classes of up to 30 students. Focusing on their own school grounds, students will assess the amount of waste that is produced every day across the school, identify waste hot spots, and determine where the waste is going. Using this data, students will evaluate the school and come up with practical goals and strategies to improve sustainability and waste management across the school.

CERES Sustainable farm excursion (Prep - Year 8)

Visit the CERES sustainable urban farm and find out how we can take action to reduce waste and live more sustainably in our homes, neighbourhoods and cities. Single session and half day excursion options available. Please note transport is not included.

3. How to book

Schools can book a free incursion or excursion via our booking link  *When completing the form, please include a note that the program is funded by Maribyrnong City Council.

To find out more about our waste education program, please contact environment@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au or sign up to our School Environmental Newsletter for updates on new programs and opportunities.

4. Recycling with Mondo - Textile recycling and fundraising program

Recycle With Mondo is a free textile recycling and fundraising program for primary school students. Schools that collect old clothing, textiles and electronic items receive a payment per kilogram, with items collected by Southern Cross Recycling.

Schools can select Designated Collection Days or opt to have Clothing Drop-Off Hubs installed at the school. Collection Days earn .25c per kilo of items collected and Drop-Off Hubs earn .10c per kilo of items collected.

In addition to collections, schools can also book educational talks, and students are provided with Sustainability Calculators so that they can track the real-time impact their efforts are achieving in waste, water, energy and greenhouse gas savings.

Find out more about the program.

5. Tools and Resources

School Sustainability Resources

Are you an educator interested in teaching your students about the environment and sustainability?

Our free School Sustainability Resources have been developed to support you. Explore the topics of waste, biodiversity, sustainable systems, energy and water through our downloadable work sheets and ready-made PowerPoint presentations.

Waste

Waste presentation(PPTX, 9MB)
Waste lesson plans (Foundation - Grade 6)(PDF, 4MB)

Biodiversity

Biodiversity presentation(PPTX, 6MB)
Biodiversity lesson plans (Foundation - Grade 6)(PDF, 7MB)

Water

Water presentation(PPTX, 5MB)
Water lesson plans (Foundation - Grade 6)(PDF, 4MB)

Energy

Energy presentation(PPTX, 7MB)
Energy lesson plans (Foundation - Grade 6)(PDF, 3MB)

Sustainable systems

Sustainable systems presentation(PPTX, 16MB)
Sustainable systems lesson plans (Foundation - Grade 6)(PDF, 6MB)