This year, the members of Senior School EAG have been EAGer to continue promoting the message that the environment must be respected and protected in order for ourselves, as well as other creatures, to live an optimal existence. This has been achieved through the implementation of a number of environmental initiatives, as well as campaigns to raise awareness of the challenges our environment faces. Much has been achieved as a result of the commitment and dedication of EAG members.

The EAG aims to encourage environmentally-friendly behaviour through the use of signage in classrooms which reminds students to turn off electrical equipment, air-conditioning and lights. Firbank also participated in Earth Hour, a global event in which all electricity is switched off for one hour. Furthermore, a daily environmental fact is posted on both the bulletin and the school newsletter in order to maintain awareness of environmental issues.

Earlier this year, the EAG ran a competition which gave students from Years 7-12 the opportunity to design a logo. There were many creative designs submitted and it was difficult to choose a winner, but the winning design came from a student in Year 12 who received a Frankie magazine subscription and an Oxfam donation.

The EAG also promoted Walk-to-School Day, a national event designed to encourage school students to walk, ride or catch public transport. Green Day was held in Term 3 and the activities included a Mobile Muster, where used phones were collected to be recycled; a Nude Lunch where students brought food without packaging; a walk to school; and a bake sale to raise funds for the Senior School Sustainability Committee’s upcoming projects.

In order to network with students from other environmentally-aware schools, the EAG attended the Melbourne Girls’ College Environment Conference in August, at which environmental experts spoke about the urgency of a myriad of environmental issues and the capacity that young people have to change behaviour.

Firbank has remained committed to reducing its carbon footprint and this has been carried out in a number of ways. For example, the school has a comprehensive recycling program which involves three different types of bins: green (general waste), red (co-mingle recycling) and Visy bins (paper). A vegetable garden has recently been constructed for use by the hospitality students, so that organic produce can be easily available. The students in the Boarding House have worked very hard to reduce energy usage and water consumption, and the results indicate that they have been successful.

Ophelia – Environmental Captain 2010