Greenfriars celebrates first anniversary on World Environment Day

At Blackfriars, green has never looked so good.

Today, on World Environment Day (5 June), Blackfriars is celebrating one year since the formal launch of its environmental sustainability action plan, Greenfriars.

In the past 12 months, Greenfriars has achieved several of its early objectives, including the introduction of new recycling bins, plastic bread tag recycling and battery recycling.

The school has also partnered with KESAB to run a range of workshops, such as a waste audit and this week’s “nude food” cooking session.

Students take part in the KESAB-run bin audit.

Greenfriars Coordinator Trent Allwood was proud of what Blackfriars had achieved in the past 12 months, but said there was still plenty of work to do.

“At its heart, Greenfriars is about raising awareness of environmental issues and prioritising sustainability across the school,” said Mr Allwood, also a Year 5/6 classroom teacher.

“We still have some work to do … but I think that for the first 12 months  we have done a good job. We’ve ticked off a lot of the things that we wanted to do.”

He said Blackfriars students, particularly at a Primary level, were highly engaged in Greenfriars and interested in what they could do – at school and at home – to make a difference.

“The thing that I like is that the boys are interested in it, they want to learn more, so that’s encouraging for me moving forward,” he said.

“There is lots happening; a lot of learning experiences and education.”

Primary students at KESAB’s Wipe out Waste show.

Mr Allwood is also in the process of forming the school’s first Greenfriars student committee, which, he hoped, would “drive real change”.

“I also want them to have some ideas of student-led initiatives to be more sustainable,” he said.

“I think, sometimes, if it comes from fellow students, the message has more of an impact.”

Over the coming 12 months, Mr Allwood hoped to expand the school’s waste management systems to include organics and mixed-waste recycling. He also wanted to introduce collection points for 10c deposit containers, with all money raised put back into the school.

“Waste diversion is something that I have learnt a lot about in the last 12 months; how much of an impact certain waste can have on the environment,” he said.

“It’s just about breaking habits of people. A lot of people just dump unnecessary waste into their landfill bin.”

Primary students at KESAB’s Wipe out Waste show.

Principal David Ruggiero said Greenfriars was an important initiative to meet today’s environmental challenges.

“Our earth is a gift from God and, as a Catholic community, we all have a responsibility to look after that gift,” Mr Ruggiero said.

“With thanks to Trent’s leadership, I am so proud of what we have already been able to achieve under the Greenfriars banner in the first 12 months.

“I look forward to Blackfriars continuing to make a difference in this world for many, many years to come.”

ELC learning takes flight

When ELC student Margot discovered caterpillar Minty living in her garden at home, she decided to bring her new friend in to show her classmates. Minty sparked a unit of learning that culminated in students recently releasing butterflies into the ELC garden.

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