Dandenong schools compete in Nude Food Day
Client: Nude Food Movers
City of Greater Dandenong primary schools – competing to clean up their lunch boxes for Nude Food Day. Nude Food November Challenge is a national event created by Nude Food Movers to encourage individuals to make their lunch a healthy, nutritious and environmentally friendly meal by filling it with fresh food and eliminating all unnecessary wrapping and packets.
This year the Nude Food November Challenge was held from 5-12 November. City of Greater Dandenong had 11 primary schools working towards achieving zero-waste in their lunch-boxes on Nude Food Day.
In preparation for Nude Food November Challenge, students participated in a ‘pop-lunchbox inspection’ to get a better understanding of just how much waste is generated from their everyday school lunchbox. From the 2555 students that participated in the surprise lunchbox inspection, a staggering 7375 wrappers, packets and packaging waste were counted!
With the help of lesson plans, classroom activities, educational resources and in-class presentations, developed and delivered by EnviroCom on behalf of Dandenong City Council, along with the hard work of students, teachers and parents, the second lunchbox inspection revealed an enormous reduction of 46%. Only 3411 wrappers, packets and packaging waste were recorded for the lunchboxes of all participating primary school students for the Nude Food November Challenge. This challenge was a great success with some truly amazing results from the 156 classes who participated.
EnviroCom goes Festival Happy in Melbourne
Clients: Various Melbourne Councils
As 2014 draws to a close we reflect on EnviroCom’s festival participation in Melbourne. In partnership with a number of Metropolitan Melbourne Councils, we have been the face of Council at numerous community events, including:
- Fawkner Festival
- Maroondah Festival and Maroondah Children’s Week Festival
- Dandenong Show
- Spring into Gardening Festival
- Prahran Market
- Bayside Christmas Carols
- ‘Fixit!’ And ‘Plarn’ upcycling workshops
Each event requires ongoing support from EnviroCom at all stages e.g. planning/preparation, set-up, attendance, public engagement, waste management and reporting. As each event differs in nature and is run by different councils, the type and level of engagement also differs. This year, our engagement with residents and community involved education about hard waste; household waste and recycling practices; composting; upcycling and waste minimisation. Many events had interactive activities for children and adults alike – ‘Race to Recycling’; children’s art stations; ‘Which Bin Does It Go In’; ‘Hard Waste Tetris’ and general question and answer sessions.
EnviroCom staffing at community events and festivals allows the opportunity for wider interaction with residents of all ages, demographics and knowledge levels. They are also a great space for residents to approach Council with questions about waste, recycling and composting. Festival and Event stalls encourage residents to take information and resources home, with the hope of improved practices following education and reinforcement received at the event.
EnviroCom can assist with effective community engagement and education. We look forward to participating in community festivals, events and workshops across Melbourne again in 2015!
Rethinking Waste at Home – Community Workshop
Client: Logan City Council
EnviroCom has been involved in the planning and delivery of community education and engagement programs on behalf of Logan City Council for over a decade. Every year, EnviroCom facilitates a series of popular weekend workshops that offer participants the skills and knowledge to reduce waste through home composting, worm farming or correct recycling.
In early 2014, EnviroCom designed and trialled a new workshop with the aim of challenging the way people view waste generation throughout their homes. The ‘Rethinking Waste at Home’ workshop highlights the common, but often subconscious, waste generation habits that result from every day events such as grocery shopping, gardening, food preparation and social situations. With reference to the steps of the waste hierarchy; avoidance, reduction, and reuse; participants are encouraged to identify potentially wasteful behaviours and explore the possible alternatives that are readily available.
The Rethinking Waste at Home Workshop encourages participants to make simple, but conscious decisions everyday that can significantly reduce a household’s waste footprint.
Nude Food Lunchboxes in Logan Primary Schools
Client: Logan City Council
In October 2014, EnviroCom coordinated a very successful Nude Food Day competition with 42 Logan primary school classes removing 2,400 packets from their lunchboxes on a single day.
Food wrappers and other single-use packaging containers form a significant proportion of the lunchtime waste generated in schools. Unfortunately, most of this school lunch box waste is destined to become either schoolyard litter or buried in landfill. The Nude Food Day competition was designed to raise awareness of the large volume of waste being generated in students’ lunchboxes, while providing students, teachers and parents with practical advice on how they can reduce packaging waste at school.
The Nude Food Day competition was held in conjunction with the National Nude Food Day event hosted by Nutrition Australia. A partnership between EnviroCom and Nutrition Australia secured the use of Nutrition Australia’s ‘National Nude Food Day’ logo along with other promotional insignia. EnviroCom was also provided with unlimited use and distribution of Nude Food Day lesson plans, activity sheets and other resources developed for schools by Nutrition Australia.
EnviroCom would like to thank the following schools for participating in the Nude Food Day competition:
- Boronia Heights State School
- Greenbank State School
- Jimboomba State School
- Logan Reserve State School
- Park Ridge State School
- Shailer Park State School
- St Bernardines Catholic Primary School
- St Francis College
- Woodhill State School
- Woodridge State School
Early Childhood Waste Education Outreach 2014
Client: Southern Downs Regional Council
On behalf of Southern Downs Regional Council, EnviroCom Australia coordinated and delivered a four day Waste Education Outreach designed specifically for the Early Childhood Sector.
The Waste Education Outreach program aligned directly with learning outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, and was designed to assist centres in meeting and/or exceeding aspects of their National Quality Standards. EnviroCom was responsible for coordinating all aspects of the program, from the development of promotional materials through to managing bookings and liaising with centre directors and staff.
Group presentations on waste, recycling and related topics were offered to all centres in the region, allowing children the opportunity to discover and understand everyday issues associated with waste production and disposal. Children explored the benefits of adopting more sustainable waste management practices through reducing, reusing and recycling at home and in their centres.
The specifically targeted program for Early Childhood Centres was greatly appreciated by the participants. Excellent feedback was received and the Centres indicated that they were better positioned to continue to work towards minimising the waste produced on a daily basis.
Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit
To complement the release of The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming’, EnviroCom has developed an Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit. This kit primarily addresses waste management and provides Early Learning Centres and Kindergartens with the means to independently assess and improve their current waste management practices through provision of a waste calculator tool.
The kit also incudes resources for children, including two interactive picture story books: ‘Tom, Sam and Kate Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and ‘Tom, Sam and Kate’s Backyard Adventure’. The books include complementary follow-on activities, as well as extension activities for facilitation by group leaders encouraging open-ended play experiences and opportunities for intentional teaching. The kit also includes reinforcing tools such as posters.
To assist uptake of the Kit, EnviroCom’s trained facilitators can run PD sessions for Centre staff to train them in how to effectively use the Kit and get the most out of it. Contact EnviroCom today to find out more!
Waste Management in Multi Unit Developments
Client: Maroondah City Council
A project instigated by one of EnviroCom’s Senior Consultants in Melbourne, with the aim of reducing illegal rubbish dumping, reducing contamination of recycling material and reducing waste sent to landfill, has had extremely encouraging early results. The project received funding from the Metropolitan Waste Management Group’s Metropolitan Local Government Resource and Recovery Fund.
Four different approaches were trialled, to educate residents of multi unit developments (MUDs) in how to dispose of their rubbish and recycling items. The cheapest option (installing under-the-lid recycling stickers) proved to be the second most effective in improving the contamination rate, whilst the most expensive option (door knocking residents) was the most effective in all categories. This option, while costing just over $13 per unit, was less than twice the cost of the next most expensive option (bin corral signage), which had a negligible or negative effect on contamination rates, resource loss and illegal dumping. The second cheapest option (mail-out of information to residents) resulted in the second highest improvement in illegal dumping.
Face to face contact is clearly the most effective way to educate residents in how to dispose of their rubbish, and the long term cost benefits outweigh the initial outlay. Contamination of recycled material was reduced from 16.5% to 2.5% while illegal dumping was reduced from 2 cubic metres per week to one third of a cubic metre per week for the whole development– a result which is certainly worth replicating on a wider scale.
Recipe cards to help reduce food waste
- Logan City Council
Australians spend $158 billion on food every year and throw as much as 20% of that away. EnviroCom worked in partnerships with Logan City Council in inviting local food sector businesses and other community stakeholders to collaborate on a community project to target ways to reduce food waste through the development of a series of recipe cards.
The recipe cards aimed to provide the community with simple and effective ideas of how to transform common leftovers and pantry staples into delicious meal ideas and how to safely turn food items just past their ‘Best Before’ dates into nutritious dishes.
In addition, the recipe cards also provided tips and tricks on food purchases; storage, and preparation ideas to help reduce food waste as well as information on how reducing food waste can save money and benefit the environment.
Cleaning Up at Christmas Carols!
- Bayside City Council
EnviroCom and Bayside City Council increased the Christmas cheer this year by assisting to the annual Bayside Christmas Carols a Waste Wise event! Following Sustainability Victoria’s Waste Wise Program guidelines, EnviroCom applied litter and waste prevention strategies both during the planning process and through on-the-ground services during the event. A report was then provided to Council outlining the key waste outcomes for the event and potential for improvement in future events.
Council’s aim for the 2013 Carols was to minimise litter in the park and maximise recycling on the night. EnviroCom provided strategic guidance around bin placement, signage and messaging ahead of the event and also engaged with food vendors in the lead up and on the evening. A positive outcome was recorded, with the vast majority of vendors supplying only the requested recyclable drink and food containers.
An EnviroCom representative was then in attendance during the event, inspecting bins in relation to fullness and resource loss / contamination rates; we also provided and managed an on-site litter crew. Litter at the event was minimal and contamination rates were consistently low across the majority of recycling bins; a marked improvement on previous years events.
Additional Waste Wise initiatives included events announcements and big screen reminders regarding correct waste disposal being made throughout the evening. The event program and the Carols song book were also provided in a digital format, undeniably reducing waste creation from the event.
Regional Waste Education Outreach Program
Regional or rural areas have different needs to urban areas when it comes to waste management, as their way of life tends to generate different waste material types. Agriculture presents unique considerations for waste disposal, and greater distances between properties and transfer stations make frequent collection services less feasible on a wide scale. These and other considerations make waste management unique in regional areas, but certainly no less important, and in fact, many environmental concerns relate specifically to waste production in regional areas.
EnviroCom’s Regional Outreach Program offers an excellent opportunity to educate regional communities by reaching out to children in local schools and childcare centres with an informative, activity based suite of presentations providing up to date and relevant information on recycling, waste management and key resource recovery issues, equipping students with practical knowledge to change their behaviours and undertake action to reduce their waste. The Regional Outreach Program allows schools in rural areas throughout NSW to get the same incursion-style waste and environmental education workshops and presentations offered regularly to urban schools, and are delivered directly on site to rural schools.
In addition, community events and workshops and strategically coordinated public place interaction supplements the school programs to provide holistic and specialised interactions with all sectors of regional areas.
EnviroCom currently coordinates the regional outreach program in partnership with Dubbo Council, Narromine Shire Council, Gunnedah Shire Council, Liverpool Plains Shire Council, and with the NetWastes Regional Organisation of Councils.