SFSF - Schools For a Sustainable Future
Joseph Natoli, SFSF Project Director, surrounded by happy, enthusiastic children
synergy vol 1 issue 1

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Creating a Sustainable Future at your School

Where do you start?

The Schools For a Sustainable Future project is about encouraging and assisting schools and the local community to develop and maintain practical environmental projects that fulfil the following criteria:
  • Projects that are sustained and result in ongoing changes to the operation of the school or local community.  These changes would be ones that improve the quality of our environment and preserve or restore our natural resources.
  • Projects with quality educational outcomes.   These should be stated at the planning, implementing and operational stages of the project.
  • Involvement of the local community in the activity.   This will be encouraged if your actions are publicized and recognised.
  • Creative activities that capture the imagination of the students, teachers and local community and earn the school the reputation of being a School For a Sustainable Future.


Seminar of Schools For a Sustainable Future.  An opportunity to see how schools are currently developing environmental projects to examine the resources of a wide range of environmental education groups and to discover fund raising opportunities for your project.

Seminar for Victorian Assocation for Environmental Education March 23rd 1998.  A day to help schools set up environment clubs and learn about a wide range of projects from environmental education groups.

School For a Sustainable Future - Worming into the Community consultant, Joseph Natoli, can help establish worm and recycling programs in schools and can assist with gaining recognition and support for your school's environmental project.

Kits and other Resources

School Greenhouses Saver
.   E.P.A   Great overview of how schools can integrate sustainable activities into the curriculum.  This excellent booklet will be provided for all schools that become supporters of Schools For a Sustainable Future.

We can do that. Victorian Environmental Education Council and Gould League.  Inspirational book of environmental projects.

Blueprints for Greening Schools.  Gould League.  Great practical document to assist schools with developing environmental education policy in their schools.

Composting made Easy - Gould League

Worms Eat Our Garbage.   Mary Appelhof.  Gould League.  Excellent text to use as a basis for integrating study of compost worms into the curriculum.

Waste Wise kit.   Gould League - EcoRecycle (in production)  A comprehensive kit that will be available to schools in 1998 as part of the EcoRecycle Waste Wise project.

State of the Environment Australia Report 1996  CSIRO Bookshop Landmark book which examines the condition of the Australian Environment.  A gem of a book for teachers, senior students and the interested environmentalist.

Time Magazine November 1997.  Special Edition on the Future of our Earth. A publication that provides a great basis for apeciating the environmental problems we need to address.

Environmental Education Organisations. This is a list of some of the organisations that may be able to assist your school with an environmental project.For a comprehensive Directory of Environmental education contacts please see Victorian Association of Environmental education.   Phone +61 03 9428 9812.

  • Alternative Technology Association,  247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia.  Phone: +61 03 9650 7883.  Contact Libby Anthony.  ATA offers energy and waste education programs to schools and community groups.
  • Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, P.O. Box 423, Ballarat, Australia, 3350.  Phone:  +61 03 533 1483.  Contact John Fenton.  Coordinates volunteers in a range of hands- on conservation work.  Provides opportunities for schools to be actively involved in its projects.
  • CERES,   8 Lee Street, Brunswick, Australia, 3057.  Phone: +61 03 9387 2609.   Contact Eric Bottomley.  Wide range of Community action and environmental projects.
  • Community Stream Watch, Vault 11 Banana Alley Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia.   Phone: +61 03 9287 7169.  Contact Simon Fell.  A program that actively involves students in monitoring the conditions of our water systems.
  • Eastern Energy,    17 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia.  Phone: +61 03 9229 6164.   Contact Kim Blackmore.  Extensive range of educational resources about energy.
  • Gould League, Genoa Street, Moorabbin, Australia, 3189.  Phone: +61 03 9532 0909.  Contact Alan Mayberry.  Information and resources on recycling, waste minimisation, natural history and environmental education.  Excellent range of books.
  • Natural Resources Conservation League, 593 Springvale Road, Springvale, Australia, 3172.  Phone: +61 03 9546 9744.
  • Zoo Education Services, P.O Box 74, Parkville, Australia, 3052.  Phone: +61 03 9285 9355.  Environmental Education lessons, professional development programs and an emphasis on preserving biodiversity and endangered species.


Just a few ideas for a start...Projects and some resources

  1. Establish worm farm, paper recycling and container recycling programs:
  2. Waste Minimisation activities which also focus on reducing the wastes your school generates:
  3. Setting up a School Environment Club.   A good spingboard to implement and establish further projects.
  4. Installation of a water tank for use in an organic vegetable garden.  Incorporating maths in measuring how much water goes into the tank.  Use in conjunction with an external worm farm.
    Suppliers of watertanks ex Economy Tanks. 1800 227 466.
  5. Undertaking an Energy Audit around the school.  Implement energy saving technologies or practices.
    Energy Victoria has an energy audit kit.  A.T.A.  A real alternative.
  6. Develop organic farming or a permaculture garden.
  7. Encourage families to conserve energy, water and recycle in the home.
    Yarra Valley Water.  Phone: (03) 9872 1671; Energy Victoia.  Phone: (03) 9412 5630
  8. Develop native bird boxes as part of restoring or enhancing your local environmen. The Gould League has produced a great set of booklets to assist schools in this project.
  9. Establish natural ecosystems on school grounds that can restore local environments.  Wetlands, forests, reintroduction of native vegetation.
    Natural Resources League amonst others offers excellent resources for such a project.
  10. Undertake Stream Watch programs which can help restore local waterways.
    Community Streamwatch, Parks Victoria.

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Schools For a Sustainable Future

1 Curdies St.
E. Bentleigh Vic. 3165
Joe Natoli
Ph: (03) 9579-7224     Fax: (03) 9579-6153      Mobile: 0411-568-523


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