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Paynesville Primary
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Garden and Sustainability Club

Paynesville Primary School is very happy to have two very enthusiastic families who have volunteered to look after our school garden. Ingrid Jennings and Laura Owen are taking the lead with our garden this year and have lots of amazing ideas. Please contact either Ingrid, Laura or the school office if you would like to help out - there is always plenty to do in a garden!

"Ingrid and I have been working in the veggie garden the past few weeks getting garden beds filled and mulched, some seedlings planted and tepees up. It has been wonderful to see the kids enthusiastically getting involved and helping in the garden in their recess break on a Tuesday morning. There are some great gardeners in the making! If anyone has any seeds or seedlings they would like to donate or, if they would like to help in the garden, please come along first thing on a Tuesday morning." 

Laura Owen

Mud Kitchen
The Men’s Shed has been busy again completing a project for Paynesville Primary School students. Neil Sach (President) and Kevin Svenson (committee member) have delivered a mud kitchen to our garden. Junior school students have been having a lot of fun in this area since it’s been up and running. Many thanks to Laura Owen initiating, coordinating and purchasing gear to make this project happen!

Sustainability Club
Paynesville Primary School has also introduced a Sustainability Club this year, lead by local mum Laura Owen, including different children each week from each class. 

We have a Sustainability Book in the reception area and we would love to hear your thoughts/feedback. 

The Sustainability Club began by looking at composting. All Paynesville Primary School class rooms now have a compost bin for food waste. The children have had discussions about what can and can’t go into the compost and why it is important.

When food waste sits in landfill it creates methane which pollutes our atmosphere. On the other hand, when we compost food scraps they can, with time, be used to help our plants in the veggie garden to grow.

Rebecca Lamble, the Resource Smart Schools facilitator, came to Paynesville Primary School in March to help do a waste audit. The Sustainability Club conducted a mini ‘war on waste’, measuring the amount of waste in the school bins and sorting one of the bins to assess what our main waste materials are.

The kids did an amazing job given that it was quite time consuming and smelly work!

Our results showed that by weight:

  • 36% of the waste was rubbish
  • 33% paper and cardboard
  • 28% food scraps
  • 2.8% other recyclable materials

We are hoping that having the compost bins will eliminate our food waste from the main bins and then we can focus on developing strategies to reduce our other waste materials.

2 parts brown waste (dry leaves, straw, wood chips, saw dust)
1 part green waste (veggie scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds)
Air: turn compost once a week to make sure that the decomposers in the compost get the oxygen they need to do their job
Moisture: the compost should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Decomposers in the compost require water to survive.
Note: the brown and green waste are added gradually in layers.

Nude Food Challenge

During our waste audit, we found that general waste was our biggest contributor to school waste in the bins outside the classrooms. There were a lot of zip lock bags and plastic wrappings from sandwiches and other lunch box items.

To address this issue the Sustainability Club are interested in introducing a Nude Food Challenge on Tuesdays in Term 2 (starting week 2). 

Nude Food is food that has no packaging or plastic wrappers. The Nude Food Challenge encourages children to try and have a lunchbox free of waste. We know that this can be daunting for some people, so we will be sharing ideas each week in our Newsletter to help families who would like to participate (participation is not mandatory). 

It does help to have a bento box but you can also use little containers in a lunch bag too - just use what you have. It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. You can also use beeswax wraps for sandwiches instead of zip lock bags and you can usually get these inexpensively from the school office

Nude Food Ideas:

  • Rice & veggies in thermos
  • Grapes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, sugar snap peas
  • Slices of cucumber, carrots, apple, celery
  • Sandwich wrapped in beeswax
  • Muffin
  • Cucumber
  • Cheese squares cut from larger block
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Instead of single serve packets, take items from a larger pack and pop into a reusable container like pretzels, chips, crackers, popcorn etc
  • Cabana, salami etc
  • Mini hot cross buns
  • Sushi
  • Health balls - great ones at Aldi
  • Home made baked items like slices
  • Dried fruit
  • Home made pizza slices
  • Pikelets

If you have any items to add, please put them on the Paynesville Primary School Information Hub on Facebook or put a message in the Sustainability Book in reception at school. It's so great seeing the kids becoming so conscious of reducing waste at school.

If you’re interested in other practical ways of reducing waste and saving money, you might like to check out the Women Against Waste facebook page.