Promoting ecological conversion and environmental sustainability
At Stella Maris, our students and staff take an active role in being stewards of creation and 'caring for our common home’.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, our school community understands that we have to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century with creative and thoughtful planning, education and concrete actions that can make a difference to the health of our planet, all people and all creatures.
Our commitment to being responsible members of Planet Earth is evident in our classroom learning and teaching, the prayer and liturgical life of our school, our resource and grounds management, and whole school planning for community initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our environment and our relationships with one another.
Our Stella Maris school community is involved in a range of initiatives that empower our students to support the ongoing care of creation through:
- Student Environmental Committee
- Curriculum integration of environmental awareness and sustainability
- Participation in environmental action and awareness initiatives ('Green Days') – including Clean Up Australia Day, Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Environment Day, Tree Day and National Recycling Week
- Outdoor learning spaces
- Vegetable, herb and/or fruit gardens
- Bush tucker garden
- A waste management system that includes recycling and participation in the ‘Vinnies Return and Earn’ scheme
- Worm farming, composting of organic waste and FOGO
- Promoting waste-free or 'nude-food' lunches
- Eco-friendly infrastructure – including solar panels, water tanks, sub-pods, LED lighting and/or sensor lighting
- Green ethical catering
- Dedicated staff environmental committee and staff environmental coordinator
- Staff professional development to support student and school environmental learning and action
- Physical ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ on school grounds
- Celebration of the ‘World Day of Prayer of the Care of Creation’ and the ‘Season of Creation’
- Earned Environmental Education Grants to further our environmental project/s
- Active members of the Wollongong Environment Network
Our school also has a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) which identifies and plans for our key environmental actions and projects. These include:
- Student learning and engagement in Laudato Si’ through focus in Religious Education (RE) Creation Units.
- Continued reusable waste-free (nude food) lunch boxes across the school
- Introducing REDcycling to the waste management of the school
- Continued monitoring of energy and water consumption across the school
For more information, visit the CEDoW Wollongong Environment Network