Sustainability at The Patch

The Patch Primary School sustainability program is co-ordinated by STEM teacher Nina deVreeze with contributions from Asssitant Principal Michelle Rayner.

We are a ResourceSmart School.

ResourceSmart Schools is a free program offered by Sustainability Victoria that supports Victorian schools to embed sustainability across the school facilities, community and curriculum, while saving resources and money for the school.

We have been involved with Resource Smart Schools for many, many years now. We have won Biodiversity awards and hosted Workshops for other Resource Smart Schools.

In 2022 we completed the Water module which included tasks such as a school water audit, creating new signage and lessons on water conservation in years 3-6.

In 2023 we completed the Core module and hope to be a 2 star sustainable school before the end of the year!

As a result of being part of this program, as of 2023 we have saved almost $10,000 in bills!


Looking forward to continuing our work with this wonderful program!


The KeepCup Project

Sustainability is a really important issue that we all study here at The Patch. We are trying to reduce the amount of waste that we make because waste is terrible for our environment. Waste goes to landfill which never breaks down. Ever. We went to the rubbish tip for an excursion in Sustainability and we saw what happens to all of our rubbish. It was horrible.  Hot chocolates from our lunch orders come in throw away cups. That's wasteful and we had an idea about how to change this.

We thought about this problem and decided that the only way to keep having hot chocolates and also reduce the amount of rubbish coming into or school was to use Keep Cups for our hot chocolates.

We wrote a letter to the Keep Cup company, on behalf of planet Earth, to ask if they would be able to generously supply our school with KeepCups for us to use for our hot chocolates instead of the disposable ones that end up in landfill. Our teachers all use KeepCups when they are out on yard duty with their coffee and tea. They look so colourful and fun and we know that they can be re-used a hundred million thousand times which drastically reduces landfill.

We asked for 25 cups because The Patch Store told us that they usually have around 25 kids from our school order hot chocolates each lunch order day in the Winter. We rang the Keep Cup company and read them our letter over the phone. Then we emailed it to them as well.

Keep Cup wrote back and said that they were touched by the effort and the passion our grade has demonstrated and they were really pleased to tell us that they would be happy to donate 25 KeepCups to our school.

These cups will live at The Patch Store and when you order a hot chocolate with your lunch order, it will come in one of these awesome re-usable cups. When the bell goes to go out for lunch, please rinse out your cups in your classroom and then bring it up to the office and put it in the Keep Cup basket. Our grade will wash the cups and return them to the store.

We have worked out that we can save over 1000 throw away cups from landfill every Winter!

Thank you so much to Keep Cup for your generosity and donating all of these cups to our school. You have helped to make a huge difference to the amount of waste coming into our school and ending up in landfill.



Our school is participating in a fascinating recycling program!

We are collecting a wide variety of items whose packages are normally very difficult to recycle and usually end up as garbage in landfill. TerraCycle takes them, cleans them up and turns them into new and useful consumer products like park benches, recycled garden pavers, recycled waste bins and bags. This means the usually discarded packages are not going into landfill and, better still, the new “upcycled” products use much less energy to make than items made from raw materials.

If you use any of the items listed below, Please collect them and send them in to your child’s classroom.  Please also consider asking friends and family to help us raise money for our school.  TerraCycle will donate 1 cent to our school for every item we collect. So we’re not only helping the environment, but we’ll be helping our school just by collecting something that would normally be considered garbage!  Here’s all you need to know about the items we are collecting:


You can bring your items to be recycled to The Patch Primary School and put them into the appropriate boxes in the school foyer.
Thank you for your help with this fascinating and innovative recycling project!


Keep calm and Recycle!

Sustainability means: “Living in a way we can maintain forever"

As part of our Sustainability commitment, our students are undertaking a number of amazing projects with the intention of reducing waste within our homes, school and community.

The Shire of Yarra Ranges sends approximately 28,800 tonnes of rubbish to landfill every year. That’s around the weight of 5760 elephants! Approximately 11,500 tonnes of this landfill is actually compostable material that never should have made it to landfill at all. Goodness knows how much of this landfill is recyclable…

We need to make better choices. We need to be aware. We need to make a change!


Current projects/campaigns:

Here are some of the interesting ways our students are making a difference:

3/4A: Our hope is to reduce the amount of recyclable waste that goes to landfill each year. We are trying to find companies that recycle in unusual and progressive ways.

We have signed up to work with a company called “Terracycle” who recycle items like toothpaste tubes and the tops of spray bottles and make them into items like garden pacers and park benches.

We have a collection box for “The Colgate Brigade for things like used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and boxes, dental floss packets, and other items as well as “The Cleaner Packaging Brigade” for items such as hand wash pumps and beauty product tubes.  TerraCycle will donate 1 cent to our school for every item we collect. So we’re not only helping the environment, but we’ll be helping our school just by collecting something that would normally be considered garbage.

3/4B: Our aim is to reduce the amount of landfill waste brought to school by students every day. We hope to make lunches more sustainable by designing, creating and selling affordable and re-usable fabric sandwich wraps within our school community. He have designed our sandwich wraps and have been testing out some prototypes and we are now in the final stages of making the final products to sell. We are writing a jingle and designing posters to help encourage people to purchase our sandwich wraps. 

3/4C: We are trying to reduce the amount of rubbish from lunch orders by encouraging companies to make sustainable choices. We have purchased refillable and re-usable tomato sauce bottles for all of the classrooms in our school so we no longer have students ordering throw away sauce sachets for their lunch orders. We have also worked together with The Patch Store and KeepCup to have a school supply of KeepCups available for the store to use for our hot chocolates in our lunch orders. KeepCup has very generously donated 30 cups for this purpose and we estimate that this will reduce landfill by over 1000 take away cups every year. 

5/6A: We have sorted out our school’s sports shed and collected all of the items that are briken and cannot be repaired. We are finding ways to re-purpose these items around our homes and schools. Our old storage tubs make excellent compost bins and some of us have even taken these home to be used therre.  

We are also hoping to start a weekly whole school "Rubbish Free Lunch Day" as well as a reward system for classes who bring the least amount of rubbish to school in their lunch boxes.

5/6B: Our goal is to educate our community about what can and cannot be recycled. Our intention is to reduce the amount of recyclable waste going to landfill from our homes and schools. 

We have designed some easily readable posters for the various bins within each classroom to help students know what to put in eaach bin. We will send copies of these posters home with our families so they can use their bins more sustainably as well.

5/6C: Our project is about reducing the amount of rubbish in our schoolyard. Students eat inside at The Patch so no rubbish is taken outside but somehow rubbish just keeps appearing! We think people walking through our school are dropping rubbish so we have designed some posters to put up around our school to remind people to take their rubbish home with them.

We also have teams of students who collect rubbish from different areas of the school each fortnight. We are collecting data about how much rubbish is found in places around our school and we are hoping that it will reduce as people take notice of our signs.


Click on the link below to find out about 13 unconventional ways to recycle items you may not know are recyclable:


We watch short videos to help us focus on the issues caused by waste. If you would like to watch the videos we have watched together, the links are provided below. Please be aware that some of these videos are rather confronting and may be upsetting.

Bird Island – Plastic vs Nature

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Bird Song


We need your help to continue what we have started. Stay tuned and come back for more tips about recycling and for new project updates. And remember to always “Keep Calm and Recycle!"


What an exciting and wonderful time!

Nina DeVreeze

3/4 Teacher