Action on climate change starts early at Waite
Youngsters at the Waite Campus Childrens Centre are learning from an early age that "green is good".
The centre has introduced a range of green initiatives over the past two years as part of its aim to achieve a sustainable future for children.
The push to "go green" originally came from the centre's Sustainable Futures for Children Committee, formed in early 2007. This resulted in the centre choosing internationally respected, Australian-based carbon reduction and management company Climate Friendly, to help implement a long-term carbon footprint measurement and offset strategy.
"As a first step, we measured emissions associated with the operation of the centre, including electricity, natural gas, air travel, paper, and waste emissions," said the Director the Waite Campus Childrens Centre, Kaarin Wilkinson.
"We opted to offset our unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing GreenPower and VCS renewable energy carbon credits - GreenPower for electricity emissions, and renewable energy carbon credits sourced by Climate Friendly from the Gudhepanchgani wind farm, India, for all other emissions sources.
"Last year we offset 37.7 tonnes of emissions, and the centre has now committed to offsetting another 28.2 tonnes of emissions for 2009," Ms Wilkinson said.
As part of its aim to achieve a sustainable future for children, the Waite Campus Childrens Centre has installed rainwater tanks that will save 225,000 litres annually.
"The rainwater tanks are interconnected and act like one large tank, collecting water from the southern and western roof areas," Ms Wilkinson said.
"Rainwater is used in areas of the centre that have high daily demand, such as toilets and the laundry. The installation of water-efficient taps and toilets, a water-efficient washing machine and dishwasher also reduce water use.
"The children's sandpit area has its own rainwater tank with a gauge that allows children to see when the tank is full and to monitor water usage. This supports children's appreciation of water as a finite resource," she said.
In the coming months, the children's centre will also be installing grid-connected solar panels with a real-time display showing the energy they generate.
For more information about the green initiatives at the Waite Campus Childrens Centre, contact Kaarin Wilkinson: +61 8 8303 6560.