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Sustainability in action provides powerful food for thought
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Sustainability in action provides powerful food for thought

The 3,000 students who visit the Rubicon Outdoor Centre in Victoria each year learn more than caving and cross-country skiing, rock climbing and horse riding. Rubicon’s focus on education by engaging with the outdoors gives students valuable skills in teamwork, empathy and perseverance, as well as personal responsibility to the environment.

Our program teaches students to look inward by taking them to outdoor spaces,” says Rubicon’s Campus Principal Andrew Monson.

Rubicon, which has two residential outdoor education campuses operated by Victoria’s Department of Education and Training, has been offsetting the carbon emissions of its transport fleet with Greenfleet since 2014.

This commitment has enabled the planting of 361 native trees* and offset 96 tonnes of carbon emissions.

We place a strong emphasis on sustainable living and the footprint that we leave behind. With so much of our teaching involving vehicle transport it is important that we model sustainable behaviour and practices for the next generation,” Andrew explains.

We think carefully about where we drive our vehicles to minimise our carbon footprint. And then, through our partnership with Greenfleet, we offset any emissions we do generate. We share this with students so that they can understand both the financial and environmental cost of their time at Rubicon,” he adds.

Rubicon’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. Both of Rubicon’s campuses have sustainable gardens which supply the kitchens with fresh vegetables and recycling centres which teach visiting students how to separate their rubbish and reduce waste.

The Nayook campus produces its own electricity and hot water through a solar panel system that was installed this year, while the Thornton campus is well known for its weekly weather reports – which includes a report on its weekly solar production – on the local radio station UGFM.

Our focus on sustainability provides powerful food for thought. Students realise they can make small changes that don’t come at an enormous cost to their lifestyles but can have a big impact on the environment.

It’s easy to think that one person can’t change anything. But one of the lessons we teach our students is that everyone has personal responsibility. Each positive action starts with one step. When students take that first step, they realise it’s not that hard, and are more likely to take the next step,” Andrew concludes.

   

 

*This number of trees is a reasonable estimate of the number of trees required to be initially planted to sequester the total quantity of carbon purchased and takes into account that not all trees initially planted will survive due to the natural survival rate of trees. Accordingly, trees that do not survive following initial plantation may not necessarily be replanted. Greenfleet's commitment to recapture carbon on behalf of our supporters involves the management of native forests across all our planting sites. Greenfleet’s forest pool is forecast to meet its overall carbon commitments to supporters.

 

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