A photo of two staff members at the Beaumaris canteen

Beaumaris Primary School

Melbourne-based Beaumaris Primary School has transformed its canteen, with sustainability at the forefront.

 

Sustainability is embedded in the culture at Beaumaris Primary School. In fact, four years ago the school was awarded the ‘Resource Smart 5-star Sustainable School’ award by Sustainability Victoria.

While the canteen menu meets the Department of Education and Training’s School Canteen Another School Food Services Policy, reducing waste has guided most of the school’s decisions.

 

Sustainable food is healthier food

The canteen committee knows that foods made on site are healthier and better for the environment, as they use less packaging and create less waste.

First, they focused on removing foods and drinks which did not have recyclable packaging. Second, they replaced other packaged products with healthier alternatives which staff and volunteers made on site, such as frozen fruit cups (instead of frozen yoghurt), healthy muffins, and hearty soups.

They also worked with a local bakery to develop healthier items, like a Select Carefully (Amber) sausage roll, instead of an Occasionally (Red) commercially-made packaged product which was high in added fat and salt.

They used Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) recipes for inspiration, and followed HEAS’ advice in their free FoodChecker menu assessment to create their own healthier recipes.

 

Sustainable processes in the canteen

It’s not just the food and drinks which are more sustainable, Beaumaris Primary School has introduced environmentally-friendly processes too!

Most foods and drinks are served on reusable plates, bowls or cups instead of in single-use wrapping, and the students separate waste into one of four bins: soft plastics, compost, recycling, and one for returning their dishes.

They also use eco-friendly cleaning products in the canteen, where possible.

 

A photo of the Beaumaris Primary School canteen

 

Involving all members of the school community

Teachers: Sustainability is embedded in the curriculum and students are regularly learning about the connection between what happens in the canteen, the school grounds, their local community and the environment.

Families: Parents and children are encouraged to prepare ‘nude food’ lunchboxes, to mirror the health and sustainability practices in the canteen.

Students: All students are encouraged to make and suggest changes to improve sustainability, and they even have student ‘Healthy Food Captains’ and ‘Sustainability Captains’ who help all students use the right recycling bins.

 

How could sustainability help you provide healthier foods and drinks at your school?

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