It is no surprise Dapto High School has won the Sustainable Schools NSW School of the Year Award this year.
Nothing goes to waste at the school.
This is proven in Dapto's latest project to install a bird bath or frog pond beneath every dripping pipe from every air conditioning unit.
"So we build bio-diversity in the site by using that 'drip drip' for good purpose and beauty," Dapto High School principal Andrew FitzSimons said.
"So the art faculty and the metals people are going to work together to construct and design a bird bath and then we will position it to get that drip."
Winning the Sustainable Schools NSW School of the Year Award has been a long time coming for Dapto.
It has taken 17 years if you ask Mr FitzSimons.
But he is just happy students and staff share his passion for the environment and sustainability.
"I'm in my 17th year here as proud principal and it feels like we made a start and it just keeps rolling and the great thing about our engagement with sustainability, it is linking us, it is getting us to work together," Mr FitzSimons said.
"The challenges we face keep changing. Climate change seems to be accelerating.
"For years I resisted air conditioning. Now I say good learning, we need temperate conditions in classrooms, but we are buying those air conditioning units through the Return and Earn system.
"Some 110,000 containers so far have been recycled and the power to run the air conditioning comes from the sun, from our 110 kilowatt capacity solar panels."
The school has embedded sustainability on campus through many ways, including encouraging staff and students to carpool, walk, cycle, scooter and skateboard.
Deciduous trees are also planted to create shade in the summer and warmth in the winter.
It has 100,000 litres of water collected and stored in eight tanks.
Organic waste from its hospitality and canteen is used as feed for the school's chickens, eight worm farms and compost.
Produce from the farm, including eggs, beef, fruit, vegetables and herbs, is also used in hospitality teaching or sold.
The hospitality unit and canteen are also plastic free. Five chilled, filter water bubblers have also been installed to reduce the purchase of plastic water bottles.
Batteries, phones, paper, computers, printer cartridges and steel have all been recycled at the school.
"All of this is led by our Green Team," Mr FitzSimons said.
"These students that help us, they come from boys and girls from year 7 to year 12. They are linked through a passion for sustainability and it links us to parents and the community.
"So sustainability, apart from being good for the globe, is good for community."
The principal added he was "quietly chuffed" to win the award.
The Department of Education secretary Mark Scott is one of many from the education sector to praise Dapto High.
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