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Schools urged to take up environment challenge

A dynamic new website is challenging Tasmanian schools to reduce their environmental impact.

Launched today at Rose Bay High School in Hobart, the Up2me for kids @t school shows students how they can adopt more sustainable practices.

The website is a component of the successful web-based Environment Challenge www.up2me.com.au, a partnership between the Environment Division and Sustainable Living Tasmania.

Whole schools or individual classrooms can take up the challenge. There is a wide range of activity options, and teachers and students can select the most appropriate for their classroom or school.

It is anticipated that Individual classes will challenge others to produce the least amount of waste or use the least amount of energy to get to and from school.

Other projects could involve growing vegetables for the school cafeteria, planting habitat for native birds and animals or setting up a compost bin.

Whole schools might implement recycling programs, increase biodiversity in the school grounds or look at energy and water use across the campus.

Rose Bay High School was chosen to host the project launch because of its environment activities, including active participation in the annual solar car challenge.

Sustainability Tasmania’s Margaret Steadman said the website development had been a lengthy process but the end product was funky and designed to appeal to students.

Margaret encouraged all schools to check out the website and to provide feedback.

Launching the project, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, Paula Wriedt, said the original Up2me website is aimed at households but schools also have a major role to play in reducing impact on the environment.

"They use resources and produce waste but they are primarily education facilities acting as role models for students and the local community," she said.

"I challenge schools to reduce their environmental footprint and turn off unwanted lights, reuse and recycle scrap paper, reduce their waste, plant some native habitat and think about their carbon emissions."

The environment challenge for schools can be found at here .