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The ground-breaking company saving the environment, one kid at a time.

Written by Jason Kimberley.

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 just 200 brave souls had a crack and participated in our first year of Enviroweek back in 2009.

Good? Goodish? Not so much. Hmmmm.

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.

saving the environment
What if we could get thousands of Australians to take real action, to invest their energy in creating a better future? Image via iStock.

So, with renewed determination, we re-calibrated and directed our energies into making Enviroweek a national schools event. The number of student participants crept up to 5,000 the next year, jumped to 58,000 the following year, 115,000 the year after that and has just kept growing to last year’s 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.

Now, 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.

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So what is Enviroweek? It’s a year of action and a week of celebration. Across Australia, schools are taking action and connecting Aussie kids to positive everyday choices – for them, their school and our environment. It’s about making smart choices and making real savings for schools and households. Enviroweek is a fully integrated and flexible national schools event, offering education resources and heaps of prizes to engage and connect Aussie kids from three-18 years.

saving the environment
So what is Enviroweek? It’s a year of action and a week of celebration. Image via iStock.

Enviroweek’s 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.

It’s about ‘how to’ guides, showcasing projects on school profile pages, curriculum projects that bring the real world into the classroom and also taking the classroom outdoors where kids simply do better and feel better.

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 amongst 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, school and all Enviroweek schools, and the impact is big and real.

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saving the environment
“Students doing waste-free lunches discover that a year’s worth of personal lunch wrappers fill a 240-litre wheelie bin.” Image via iStock.

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?

Get your kid’s teacher to go to: www.enviroweek.org

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, August 30th – September 5th.  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.

What’s not to love?

Enviroweek  – A year of action. A week of celebration. Runs from August 31st – September 5th.

How do you teach your kids about the environment?

Want more? Try these:

Introducing the game changing idea that even Captain Planet would approve of.

This video shows just how much damage we’re doing to the environment on a day-to-day basis.

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