School students learn about environmental sustainability
January 24, 2013

NSW Miners have been helping primary and high school students across the state develop and implement sustainable environmental management plans at their schools.

NSW Miners value our natural environment, and we work hard to limit mining’s impact on our surroundings. But that effort doesn’t stop at our mine sites – in fact, it extends all the way to classrooms across regional NSW.

The NSW Department of Education and Training requires that schools develop a School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP), and NSW Miners have shown their support by setting up the EnviroSmart grant program.



Orange Public School EnviroSmarts

Students from Orange Public School were awarded a grant from their sustainability project.

Mining companies in regional NSW nominate schools in the surrounding area to apply for grants of up to $1,000 to go toward carrying out an environmental project at the school. Hundreds of SEMPs have been supported by the program since it began in 2004.

The SEMPs fit into one of the key themes – air, water, land, energy and waste – and past projects have included creating vegetable gardens, building bird feeders and planting trees around the school grounds.

EnviroSmart grants help teachers and their students develop these projects which, while on a much smaller scale, are based on the environmental management plans in place at all NSW mining operations.  EnviroSmart grants have been given out annually, and this year has seen massive growth in the number of mining companies involved, doubling to 12 mines in regional NSW contributing a total of $37,000 in grants.

Teachers are also encouraged to take advantage of the EnviroSmart online resource, based on the Australian curriculum, which provides lesson plans and activities to teach students about environmental sustainability and help them develop their SEMPs.  Access to EnviroSmart is available through Oresome Resources.

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