Environmental & Social Impact Review

What Is an Environmental Review?

The Environmental Review is an important tool that will assist you in understanding the ecological and social impact your school has on the local environment and your community. This checklist will be of assistance to your Eco-Committee to quantify the school’s impact in terms of the seven Eco-Schools Themes and to generate action project ideas.

How to Use This Review

Your Eco-Committee can use this review to check off the areas in which your school is currently making improvements and to help you recognise areas that might need a focus in both the short and long term. This activity is to be student lead as it will inform the actions taken by students.

Score each question then total your answers. The lowest total will identify the area you should focus on.

How to Rate Your School

Rate your school on a scale of one to five as per below:

  • 5 : Yes, we are champions in this area!
  • 4 : In this area we have taken positive steps, but we still can improve.
  • 3 : We’ve just started our journey!
  • 2 : Hmm, we’re in the planning stages.
  • 1 : Ha! We never thought of that – thanks for the idea!

In the comments section you can mention some of the great ways in which your school is focusing on this area. You can also write down ways in which you think you could improve and what projects might be a good starting place.

Biodiversity: Habitats & Homes

Does your school have a natural environmental area for native plant and animal species? *
Does your school encourage insect and animal life in the school grounds (e.g. bug hotels, frog ponds, butterfly garden, bird baths, long grass, hedges, bee-friendly plants, wildlife boxes etc)? *
Does your school have plants in beds, pots or containers around the school? *
Do all students get an opportunity to be hands on with the school's natural environment? *
Are pupils aware of the global threat to biodiversity? *

Energy & Climate: Super Smart Power

Is energy efficient lighting used in all classrooms? *
Are open windows and fans used more often than air conditioning? *
Are lights and computer monitors turned off when not in use? *
Do your school grounds have any renewable energy sources (e.g. wind turbine, solar panel)? *
Are pupils aware that saving energy can help save the planet? *

Fair Go: Global Citizens for Social Justice

Does your school fundraise or support disadvantaged Australians or communities abroad? *
Does your school have a policy to make sure purchases for school projects/activities have a positive social and minimal environmental impact i.e. does your school buy Fairtrade, organic products? *
Is the school uniform made in Australia from local, environmentally friendly materials? *
Do students engage and partner with members of the local aboriginal community for cultural, educational programs? *
Does the school partner with other schools around the world to learn and act upon global challenges? *

Lifestyles: Healthy & Active

Does your school grow its own fruit and vegetables? *
Does your school canteen stock predominantly healthy products? i.e. low sugar, low fat, low salt etc. *
Is the school community encouraged and enabled to ride their bikes or walk to school? *
Do students participate in fitness and awareness campaigns that promote healthy, active lifestyles, e.g. Jump Rope for Heart, Fun Runs, Meat-free Monday, etc.? *
Are students aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle? *

Litter & Waste: The Cycle of Stuff

Is your school litter free? *
Does your school have indoor and outdoor bins to encourage waste and recycling? *
Does your school participate in regular litter clean ups? *
Does your school have a compost, scraps system and/or worm farm for organic waste? *
Are pupils aware of the impact of litter on the environment? *

Waste & Waterways: Developing Our Next Generation of Waterway Keepers

Are students educated about the journey of litter to waterways? *
Are students aware of the consequences litter has on the marine environment and wildlife? *
Do students study how marine litter affects our food chain? *
Do students participate in excursions to provide them with first-hand experience of catchments, local waterways and natural areas and/or excursions to water education centres? *
Do students take part in any volunteering clean up events, i.e. Clean Beaches / Beach Clean Up etc.? *

Water: Think, Drink, Save the Sink

Are students encouraged to use re-fillable water bottles instead of single-use ones? *
Are there self-stopping taps and low-flush toilets in bathrooms? *
Does your school collect and use rainwater? *
Are school grounds watered in the evening or early morning? *
Do you learn about issues surrounding the importance of saving water and the availability of clean water in other countries? *

We recommend you focus on your lowest-performing themes, highlighted below:

Theme Score
Biodiversity: Habitats & Homes 0
Energy & Climate: Super Smart Power 0
Fair Go: Global Citizens for Social Justice 0
Lifestyles: Healthy & Active 0
Litter & Waste: The Cycle of Stuff 0
Waste & Waterways: Developing Our Next Generation of Waterway Keepers 0
Water: Think, Drink, Save the Sink 0