Spensley Street Primary School has been environmentally active many years with strong support from parents, students and teachers. It was one of the founding members of the Sustainable Schools program.
In 2010 the school was fortunate enough to be given a grant under the National Solar Schools Program and that was used install a 2 kW solar electricity system and to replace many of our old inefficient fluorescent lights.
The introduction of the solar system has been a great success and to date has saved over 1500 kWh of electricity which equates to a monetary saving of almost $300. The replacement program of the old fluorescent lights has only just been completed so it is too early to accurate data on the savings that that has made.
In 2010 school replaced its ageing sunscreens with architect designed static shades. These steel shades were designed to allow the sun light and warmth to penetrate the building during the cooler months but to keep the sun of the building during the summer. These have had the effect of keeping the building much cooler in the early part of this year.
The school believes it has a role to play in reducing the carbon footprint of all members of our community and we encourage initiatives tried at school to be continued at home. We are aware of the vast amount of energy required to move food from state to state and across the world. Spensley Street has its own self funded kitchen garden and students are encouraged to plant seeds, harvest produce and then cook and eat this food. Part of the harvesting process is to also harvest seeds and students are then given these to take home and plant in their own garden.
As well as attempting to cut down the energy we use and the carbon that we produce, we are also actively planting so that these trees will become a carbon sink. The school has a small campsite in Gippsland and over the last two years have planted about 160 trees.