Ecostore gets behind Enviroweek - and a healthier planet
We’re proud to be one of the partners on board with Enviroweek, a national schools movement that celebrates how Australian kids positively impact their school and the planet. Enviroweek is part of a year of action and is a week of celebration. Schools across Australia offer students aged between three and 18 years positive everyday choices and real savings for schools and households.
According to Jason Kimberly, the CEO and founder of Cool Australia, the organisation behind Enviroweek, it offers education resources and prizes, ‘how to’ guides, project showcases on school profile pages, curriculum projects that brings the real world into the classroom and takes the classroom outdoors where kids simply do better and feel better. Jason tells us more about Cool Australia, how to get involved in Enviroweek and how the initiative is a chance for young Australians to make a difference.
More than 43 per cent of Australian schools use Cool Australia’s online lesson plans, worksheets and digital library to educate our next generations. Cool Australia is shifting the culture of education by providing educators with support and resources to teach students to think differently and learn for life.
Our curriculum resources are free to access for all Australian educators and nurture student talent, creativity and passion through real world and project-based learning. More than 28,000 educators are regular users of Cool Australia’s resources reaching more than 700,000 students in 2015.
Back in 2009 Cool Australia had a crazy idea, what if we could get thousands of Australians to take real action, to invest their energy in creating a better future? Why wouldn’t you? Well, it turned out that others were a little less excited about it than we were and 200 brave souls had a crack and participated in our first year of Enviroweek back in 2009. Good? Goodish? Not so much.
We had a re-think and given that Cool Australia is all about education it was determined that Enviroweek needed to have a strong schools focus. Enviroweek needed to be the action, the doing that sat beside all of our curriculum and learning resources. So, with renewed determination we recalibrated and directed our energies into making Enviroweek a national schools event. Student participant numbers crept up to 5,000 the next year, jumped to 58,000 the following year, 115,000 the year after that and have just kept growing to last years total of 182,000 Aussie kids taking action. So far we have more than 200,000 kids registered for 2015 with a few weeks still to go.
So what is Enviroweek?
Enviroweek runs from 30 August to 5 September. Its fun and simple actions provide students with knowledge of their everyday impact and how all of these actions contribute to bigger change. It’s all about making smart changes to the way we do everyday things. It’s about providing the tools to educators and kids to create the future they want to live in.
Enviroweek learning is always incorporated into numeracy and literacy as well as a range of activities connecting students with nature, improving health and classroom learning through time spent outdoors. At a recent school visit, students were praising the Cool Australia and Enviroweek ‘games’ that they loved playing – and confusion ensued. ‘Cool Australia don’t do games,’ we muttered among ourselves. What do the kids mean?’ It turns out that the kids love our learning activities so much that they consider them games. As an educator you cannot get higher praise than that.
Students doing waste-free lunches discover that a year’s worth of personal lunch wrappers fill a 240-litre wheelie bin. Multiply that by their whole class, or the school, then all Enviroweek schools, and the impact is big and real.
Port Fairy Consolidated School teacher Tracey Gray says, “Students care greatly about wildlife and our planet, but often feel powerless to make an impact. Enviroweek shows them that they hold the power in their everyday choices and actions. When Enviroweek Waste Warriors measure their waste and do the maths, they quickly understand that they have the power for positive change.”
What can you do?
Ask your kid’s teacher to visit the Enviroweek website. From now until September educators and students choose from 14 simple actions, create and update their online team profiles, connect with other schools, share ideas and watch their collective impact grow.
There are heaps of awards and rewards for kids and educators with ‘Top 10’ prizes and (by popular demand), our first ‘People’s Choice Awards’ to be evaluated during Enviroweek. Teams from all around Australia will showcase their actions, celebrate with their community and vote on the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and the ‘Top 10’ student leaders, teams and educators.
How to get involved:
Visit the website, then follow these steps.
About Jason Kimberley, CEO and founder of Cool Australia
After returning home from an expedition to Antarctica in 2005 Jason set about writing a book about his adventures. It was during the research for this project that Jason became aware of the increasing human impact on our planet. Our education system was identified as the most important and effective way for connecting with kids and recognised educators as the best ‘voice’ for Cool Australia. In August 2008, Cool Australia was born.