Congratulations to all our families, children, scouts, teachers, coordinators, committee and scout leaders: We won!
Spielwelt and our Pfadfinder scout group were the proud recipients of the ACT Smart Sustainability Award’s Energy and Water Star award for 2018. The award was presented by the very supportive ACTSmart team and the ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury.
Just being nominated for the award actually spurred us into more action, and we have since introduced Redcycle’s soft plastics recycling at the hall, and are about to launch two other recycling programs working with Terracycle. We’ve also signed up to be an ACTSmart organisation and will be ramping up our children’s recycling education program and looking at achieving a further reduction in our waste-to-landfill. Details to come…
We next aim is to inspire you further! If your home or business is looking for tips or support about what you can do, start with the ACT Smart website and contact their encouraging and enthusiastic team.
Recipients in other categories of the award are also listed on ACTSmart’s awards page.
You can read about some of the many, many things we have been already done to reduce our footprint and educate our children and families, and what we won the award for, in one of our previous posts…
Gruen, Gruen, Gruen…
There is a German children’s song about colours that starts, “Gruen, gruen, gruen, sind alle meine Kleider; Gruen, gruen, gruen, ist alles was ich hab.” (You can enjoy hearing it by clicking here.)
Well at Spielwelt, we love being green too!
This post celebrates and acknowledges what we have done to date to be GREEN, and let’s you know what is next on our agenda.
To date, we have:
- upgraded all our lighting to LED
- upgraded our heating systems from hideously inefficient old heaters to fabulously efficient reverse cycle heaters
- programmed those heaters to switch off at regular intervals 4 times a day, in order to make sure they are not left on accidentally
- installed 6 panels of solar space heating on our roof, and provided personalised tours and information to other groups and individuals about this technology
- with help from LAROS Technologies in Fyshwick, we replaced our drafty old ill-fitting windows with wonderful new triple-glazed windows
- had an ACT Smart audit done and successfully applied for a grant, which we used for some of the audit recommendations
- installed that sticky fluffy stuff around door frames to prevent heat loss
- checked our big appliances for efficiency ratings (and replaced them where necessary)
- teach children in our playschool program about recycling
- we collect food scraps for chickens and composting
- introduced the Terracycle coffee capsule recycling program
- put up signage around the hall to remind staff about turning off lights and heaters
- our staff are trained that if they turn the heater or air conditioner on, they are to put the heater remote control with their car keys or bike lock keys, so that when they go home, the person is automatically reminded about turning off the heaters/air conditioning
- we encouraged our scouts to use recycled building materials to design and install a way to move warm air down from the ceiling area and onto ground level where our younger children play (that was a really fun project!)
- we had heavy curtains made to section off areas of our scout hall we don’t need to heat
- we have double doors between our heated areas and our outside doors, to cut down on heat loss in winter or heat ingress in summer
- check our electrical appliances each year to make sure they are not faulty and draining more energy than they should
- undertaken a study to see if solar energy would be feasible for us
- we have a 1000 litre rain water tank which is plumbed to our toilets
- we only use instant hot water, rather than trying to maintain large quantities of hot water for long periods of time
- we have recyling bins inside and outside, and educate the children in our programs about how to use these
- we talk to children and parents about reducing waste in packed lunches
- new toilets installed with half-flush
- installed new quarter-turn taps that are easy for young children to turn off fully
- our chldren’s programs use recycled supplies wherever possible for their art and other activities; and we have banned glitter (micro-plastics)
- we shun plastic toys where possible, in favour of wood or nothing (it is okay to not have things!)
- our teachers have all been given reusable coffee cups and a carry bag for them
- we use non-toxic cleaning products whenever possible
- we sorted our library of over 1000 childrens books and gave many away for free into the community (re-use)
- gave away some board games to the Buy Nothing Facebook group members in our local area
- our default superannuation fund is Australian Ethical Super, who support green technologies
… and finally…
32. we have a whole lot of fun thinking up new ways to stretch ourselves and the children in our programs to be and think cleaner and greener!
Next steps? Soft plastics! We will be aiming to reduce our use, helping families to reduce their use, and recycling soft plastics through the Redcycle program.
Want to get involved and help us be greener? Get in touch! Just email email@example.com
The challenge was on. Each patrol was given $20 and let loose at the shops. The idea was to shop and cook a meal for themselves, for $20 or less. They were also allowed to use any salt, spices or sauces they found at the scout hall.
Their scout leader was delighted to see a lot of healthy discussion going on, followed by quite a healthy selection of foods emerging from the shops.
Back at the scout hall, the kitchen turned into a hive of activity as the Scouts cooked up their ingredients into great feasts. There were pasta dishes, fresh salads, meat and veggie sauces, and desserts.
Our Venturers also had a go at this – and served themselves a meal of fish, soft drinks, ice cream and lollies, after which they complained of stomach-aches!
We all learned a lot that evening!
Our Joeys were delighted to be part of an exciting environmental awareness night. ACT Conservation Volunteer Manager, Tatjana Schmidt, ran an evening of fun and educational activities. The joeys and their Joey Leader, Kerria, are already looking forward to Tatjana’s next evening, coming up later this year!
We collected objects from our natural environment, and learned their German names.
We made a poster about the things we find and must care for in our environment. Alles auf Deutsch, natuerlich!
Our library was one of the lucky recipients of Lilli’s love and attention over the summer.
The library underwent a massive re-vamp, starting from a huge jumble of over a thousand books, some on shelves, some stacked in piles, some stored in boxes under tables…. Our library now hosts what is undoubtedly the nicest (and most beautifully organised) German children’s book, video and music collection in Canberra.
Just a few of the myriad books that got sorted this summer.
Many books were given to grateful families, many others were donated to LifeLine to carry on their good work circulating in the wider German community. Only the best made it through to the finals, to our sleek new library, so we are sure you will enjoy browsing our shelves.
New books and donations are being received all the time by our librarians Florian and Lilli, so keep checking the shelves for fresh material and old favourites.
The library caters for 0-16 year olds, and sections include learning German, ABCs and vocabulary builders, children’s classics, the popular Wieso Warum Weshalb series, music, videos, mystery, adventure, and much more.
Pfadfinderinnen! Lilli has even created you a “starke Maedchen” section! Come and check it out!
After many hours of hard work over the summer, our foyer has been completely renovated.
No more horrible cramped, dark, cluttered storage area. We have welcomed in a bright, open, cheerful, greatly enlarged space to work and play in.
Each GAP child now has their own personalised area to store their personal items; Pfadfinder have more room to do woodwork and other projects; Spiel und Spass parents have more room for prams.
Many thanks to the parents and scouts who put so much time into the renovation, designing, demolishing, sorting, purchasing, cleaning, painting, tiling, fixing, woodworking, and much more. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and amazing community who can pull together to create something terrific for us all to use.
After the first stage of the demolition
Nearly ready for action (view of the north end)
First day of school in 2018 (view of the south end). Note the cute washing line on the far wall, for lost and found items!
The scouts and playschoolers all had a chance to ‘think outside the box’… and to think inside the box as well! We had a big delivery of cardboard to play with, and simple instructions: Build what you like! Suddenly, there were forts, castles, draw-bridges, sleds, horses, swords, tunnels, mazes and all sorts being built inside and outside the hall.
Speaking of thinking outside the box, the teachers at the GAP were delighted to see the children thinking creatively about what possible alternate uses we could find for our toys. Among other things, it turns out that play traffic cones can be used to turn yourself into a penguin!
The GAP children went on a little expedition around the hall, checking out all the renovations. Out the back of the hall, we found Saul from TotalSpan Canberra, up on the roof of our new shed, putting on the finishing touches. We waved to him and asked what he was doing up there. He replied that he was making mud pies! We didn’t believe him though, and so he came down to visit with us.
We were allowed to see what he was doing, and go into the new shed. We are sure that the Pfadfinder scouts will be very happy when they see their new shed. And GAP and Spiel und Spass are happy too because they have the old toy shed all to themselves now. No more overcrowding hazards!
Many thanks to the ACT government’s Community Support and Infrastructure Grant program, for allowing us to build the shed.
One lucky scout celebrated a birthday while at Summer Camp, and just happened to be involved in a water fight when this was discovered by the patrol leaders….
One of the fun evening activities the leaders provided for Alpha Troop at Summer Camp was aerial sock wrestling.
Two scouts would get into helmets and harnesses, and then stand up on milk crates so they were up off the ground. Once the scouts felt safe swinging in their harnesses, the crates were taken away, and they started the wrestling match… while dangling, swinging and spinning in the air!
The aim of the match is to get your opponent’s sock off. All the while of course, your opponent is trying to get your sock off. It makes for dramatic and exciting viewing and playing. We screamed and cheered for our patrol members, as they wrestled it out in mid-air, twisting and turning in all directions and dimensions!