The best way to educate children about the environment is to show them how to undertake eco-friendly practices, or to have them come up with their own strategies. This is what the eco-schools program has designed, and schools throughout Australia have taken part in the environmentally friendly award program.
This award program is set up to help schools become sustainable and each school works with the children to achieve one of three awards; the bronze and silver awards which are self-accredited or the prestigious Green Flag Award which is externally assessed by an administrator.
The schools participating must elect a team or ‘eco-committee’ made up of a representative from each year level and a staff member. The eco team then carries out an environmental review of their school to see how well it shapes up in terms of environmental performance. This gives them a realistic view of their good environmental practices as well as areas that need improvement.
The eco-team review needs to include the nine key topics of the eco-schools program- water, biodiversity, energy, global perspectives, healthy living, litter, school grounds, transport and waste.
The team them consults with the school and the rest of the community which themes they wish to tackle. There may be one particular area they wish to address such as recycling, but it is up to the children to choose which they will choose.
Eco-school environmental review then becomes the foundation for the school’s environmental action plan. The eco-schools program is not just available in Australia, but operates in 40 countries worldwide. More than 40, 00o schools have adopted the environmental program that gives children the change to explore environmentally friendly ideas.