Under the Western Stars

Thank you to everyone for giving up your time to present our Environmental Journey at ‘Under the Western Stars.’

Ashley                              1

Our school has many Environmental  Programs that we can participate in.

We are a ResourceSmart school which means we look at biodiversity, use of water, waste and energy.



Every week we have Rubbish Free Wednesdays.


Corey L

Rubbish free means that there is nothing in the lunch box that goes to the Landfill. Most of us use air tight containers to keep our food fresh and this means no rubbish.



On a Wednesday 5/6D collect the data to see how many  of us are rubbish free. Our best effort is 251 people and our second best is 228.



We would like to congratulate 1/2C as they are our rubbish free champions this year. Most weeks they have 100% of the kids rubbish free and this is all days not just a Wednesday.  



We have a rubbish free trophy for the winner that was designed by 5/6B 2008.

In the next 2 weeks we invite you all to have a go at designing the 2010 rubbish free trophy.



We have Community Partnership Projects. One of these is our Milk bottles to Furniture Project. Thank you to everyone for collecting milk bottles so we can turn them into furniture.



We now have 5 table settings for our outdoor classroom and hope to be able to order another one before the end of the year. So keep saving your milk bottles!


Shona: If you have lots of milk bottles you can take them straight to AusPlaztik. Remember to say you are from Mildura West PS.


Courtney: Rio Vista Park and Johnson’s Bend Sandbar are also Community based Projects. This is linked to Mildura Rural City Council and Mallee Catchment Authority. We have 6 student action teams in Year 5 and 6 and they are all responsible for completing different things.


Abbey: This year the Recreation Management Team installed a pink coloured seat made from milk bottles at Rio Vista Park to pay tribute to all the people that have experienced breast cancer.


Kyle: We have other student action teams such as Pest Control , Biodiversity, Litter Management, Recreation Management and the Data Collection and analysis Team.


Amelia: We complete Community Water Sampling at Lock Island as part of Water Watch. Our Water Ambassadors are part of a Community Project making sure water messages are modeled to the kids in the school and the community.


James: The 2009 Water Ambassadors are going to install 2 drinking water taps so that everyone can fill up their drink bottles much easier and not waste so much water.


Jake: Our school is represented at a lot of environmental conferences.

In June, a team of 8 of us were invited to the Melbourne Water Conference and we were the only country school. Our topic was Creating Water Smart Cities- a Country Perspective.


Ashley:  We were able to show our audience that the Sunraysia district is a very important food bowl and the farmers are using best water practices to produce their fruit and vegetables. We learnt so much at the  Melbourne Water Conference.


Jake: GIDDAY my name is Bob the Builder and this is my twin Billy. We went to the International River Health Conference in Canberra during



Billy: The topic we presented was about river regulation and our workshop was called ‘Let the Rivers Run.’ We taught our audience about the pros and cons of regulation.


Jake:  The opening for our presentation was based on an analogy showing how the river was before regulation when the rivers ran free with no barriers stopping the balance of nature.


Billy: Maya will play a song on her violin and you can imagine the river flowing wherever it likes. 


Stephanie and Sophie: In our workshop we showed that the introduction of regulation with locks, weirs, regulators and fish ladders is not always a benefit. For example: The River Red Gums have suffered. Over to Molly and Zali, both from the River Red Gum family!


 Molly:  For years my family, the River Red Gums has enjoyed the floods to give our roots a good old fashioned soak. Sadly with regulation that doesn’t happen anymore.


Zali: I’m not sure the modern ways are the best…. This means that regulation is good for some users of the river but maybe not everyone. River Red Gums need a natural flood to survive and this does not happen with regulation.


Josh: In the play I was Mr. Murray Cod. I take some convincing that regulation is a good thing for fish to breed. There seems to be so many barriers for fish and then I come across a fish ladder. This structure helps solve all of our breeding problems.


Jake U

Going to River Health Conferences is great fun and even though we might be small our voices can still be heard.


There’s lots to do to help the environment be sustainable. 


Global Warming

The Problem

I think global warming would be not quite as bad if we didn’t leave our lights on all day, leave a TV on, use electrical objects when not needed and do other things because when we use power(unless it’s solar which is a bit different)we are burning coal which is creating greenhouse gasses. Also some fly sprays and other aerosols can create greenhouse gasses sumo suits for sale.

The Solution
• Turn off electrical appliances at the power point when not in use (or just at night and at school)
• Do not leave lights on when not in the room (big problem!)
• Try not to use fly sprays and other aerosols (use a fly swat instead)
• Use electrical appliances less often (instead use something else) or reduce the time you use them for.

Have you been successful and reduced your power bill? How have you achieved this?


Jelly fish

When I was on Melbourne Camp we went on a walk along the beach. I saw a whole heap of dead jelly fish over 500 and only in this one part of the beach. At first I thought they had shed their skin but then I remmbered jelly fish don’t shed skin.

Does anyone know why this would have happened?



Do you think it would be possible for Mildura to be plastic bag free? Be prepared to justify your answer.

I am hoping many people will write a post to explain how we could go about starting a process that eventually would lead to ‘Mildura – a Plastic Bag Free City.’ You will need to consider who we should contact to start the ‘ball rolling.’

I am looking forward to lots of ideas.


The Plight of the River!

To see the river so low and dry

Makes me want to cry!

We need to do something right nowsydney warehouse information

And take a vow!

To be keen

On keeping our rivers clean.

The river is ours to look after

Not turn into a disaster.

We don’t want dying nature,

So keep it out of danger

Make sure it is free from litter

So you can make it shine like glitter

One of the actions you must take for the river

Is making sure you don’t drop your litter.

More action can be done

If you be that one

To stop pollution

By coming up with an effective solution

It is not too late

To keep the environment in it’s natural state!

Yes it is up to everyone

To change what is being done!


Winners Proud Schools Award 2008

Mildura Independent


Mildura West Primary School has taken out the Proud Schools Award at the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards.
The award was one of 12 presented at a special presentation night conducted at Moe on Saturday night.
Mildura West Primary School was successful in taking out the award ahead of seven other finalists from schools across regional Victoria in recognition of the school’s long history of not just being concerned about environmental issues but for the actions they are taking and the examples they are setting.
“The students and teachers at Mildura West Primary are active on many levels when it comes to the environment both within the school and the broader community,” said Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Chief Executive Officer Wendy Jones.
“While many of their projects have revolved around water, particularly the nearby Murray River including revegetation works at Rio Vista Park, there has also been a big focus on waste and recycling generally and broader community engagement through activities such as their responsible dog ownership initiative and their very own green Christmas carols.”
Horsham was the city successful in winning the 26th Annual Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards and will now go on and represent Victoria in the 2009 Australian Tidy Towns Awards in Canberra in April 2009.
Orbost was named as the winner of the inaugural Small Town Achievers Award.



The Mildura Torch Relay will start its journey at 8.30am in Merbein travelling through Mildura before reaching its final destination at the Ornamental Lakes on Saturday October 4th. Mildura West students have the opportunity to join in during the Ontario Avenue section when the torch will be travelling past the school.

The relay is calling on Australia’s leaders to take action to avert climate change.

The National Climate Torch visit is to encourage people to think about how they can make some real changes in their lives to reduce the impact of climate change.

The torch is designed around 4 solutions to climate change. It has wind and solar power and a ‘people power’ hand crank with power also from a lemon battery. The torch represents the innovation and creativity needed to find new energy solutions.

Ten things you can do and may already be doing to save the planet:
From the Sustainables Challenge:
1. Take a four minute power shower

2. Take reusable bags with you when you go shopping

3. Turn off lights and appliances at the switch when not in use

4. Sign up to Green Power with your electricity supplier

5. Buy the most energy and water efficient appliances you can afford

6. Put your food or plant scraps in the compost or worm farm

7. Look for products without unnecessary packaging

8. Walk, cycle or use public transport when you can – and leave the car at home

9. Grow plants native to your area in your garden

10. Go green when you clean

If you have any ideas how to make a difference to climate change please leave a comment or write a post.


Wallpolla Island – What else can be done?

On July 22nd we went to Wallpolla Island. When we arrived we were met by Brendan Rodgers from Parks Vic who showed us around and explained what was happening in this area. We started with Dedman’s Creek. Dedman’s Creek was virtually dry because of the extreme drought that we are experiencing at the moment. There was also lots of dead River Red Gums, this is also because of the terrible drought. It is a tragedy to see River Red Gum trees (some of them being over 300 years old) dying. There was also trees called Black boxes, these trees last longer than the River Red Gums without water but eventually they start to die.

Parks Vic have installed a regulator and that is helping to flood Horsehoe Lagoon. This is one way to keep the River Red Gums alive.

What else can be done to save the vegetation from dying?


Water allocation – is there a healthy balance?

I attended the MDBC Victorian Youth Environment Conference in Mildura and there was an Expert Panel that told us all about the water allocation issues.

There are many points of view about the use of the river water.
Here are some.

Irrigators are encouraged to innovate new ways to save water in their farming.

What we can do:
– Keep an inquiring mind.
– Ask about issues, try to understand.
– Hard times come with a drought – be aware.
– Always open to new ideas about the issues.
– Three A4 sheets of paper will use 1L of water. Use minimal paper.
– Be involved, get out there, appreciate what we have.
– The Murray is not going well, we can use this analogy:We would have the Murray in hospital if it was a human. So it is sick!


Find out how much water you use in your house. If you had to cut it by 50%, what would you not use? How would you survive?

What have you learnt?


Enviro Japan! Nicola reporting from Japan


People here do a lot of recycling and have a good bin system.The recycling trucks that I have seen are very brightly decorated and I have even seen one with rain drops on it! There is also a problem here because they love pretty things and that means lots of wrappping. The wrapping they use is soft plastic which can’t be recycled.

On the subject of rubbish, in Japan public bins do not exisit so you have to take your rubbish home. This works alright as I haven’t seen much rubbish lying around except the beach which is a bit of a disgrace..

In Japan houses are not wide but tall to save room. With this room they fill with rice or bean paddocks which are very popular in Japan. They also have plenty of mountains covered in forests. My cousin’s house used to have a forest in their backyard (which are usually small to save space) that was until the borer got all the trees.The borer is a bug that is harming many trees in Japan which are at least one hundred years old. The borer is a pest that has been intoduced from China. Back on the subject of plants, in the less city area people have lots of veggie patches but no fences and they’re for sharing around the food they grow.

People are very conservative when it comes to this topic and have made a special mini car to use less greenhouse gases. But these are not used often as everyone rides bikes. In the city there are bike sheds filled with about a hundred of them! To get to school kids must walk or ride depending on how close you are to school no lifts in a car even if it is pouring down or a storm. This saves lots of petrol because kids go to school even on holidays!

People are not as water wise as in Mildura because there are loads of creeks full of water and it snows. The bad thing is that when it snows people need to still drive so they have spinkerlrs in the middle of the road! They also have plentyof water features!

There are a few enviro groups but there is one that my uncle is a part of.They do much the same as us like releasing fingerlings and having get togethers to talk about their next project.This group is ony men though.


A good excursion to Wallpolla Island.

Wallpolla island was great fun. The trip there and back was a bit bumpy and it really shook us around. Brendan our tour guide thought that we weren’t going to be able to cross the creek bed because it had rained the night before hand.

When we got to the creek where we crossed over we found out that we could cross because the water had dried up. We got through and had a look at the dying trees and it was sad. Seeing such big, huge trees look like sticks is scary. The drought has caused this and the trees just don’t get any water. That’s why it’s so important to use your water wisely. If you think about it we get water and we are nice and healthy, but the the trees are not so healthy and don’t get any water at all.

So then we went a bit further and saw Horseshoe Lagoon and Dedman’s Creek. At Horseshoe Lagoon we saw the regulator and it cost 1.5 milion dollars. When Brendan said that I thought ‘Wow! Thats heaps!’

How a regulator works.
. Gates to open and close it
.Carp screen so carp or big fish don’t get in
.Lets water flow
.Lets water flow naturally

Then we got to the Murray River and had lunch there. It was a great view!
Hope you enjoyed my Wallpolla Island recount as much as I enjoyed the visit.

Thank you Shantelle


You can help them!

I look all around me,
I look up at the sky.
Big old trees look down at me,
They’re all going to die.

Some people just don’t understand,
Just how much they need.
Some of them are massive,
But it all started with a seed.

They need our wasted water,
All that goes down the drain.
We have to help right now,
They can’t depend on rain.

We’ve thought of an answer,
For all these poor, poor trees.
We are the one’s to blame,
But it’s more than you and me.

People need to pull their weight,
To keep us all alive.
Without these precious trees,
None of us can survive!

All you have to do,
Is takes some time to care.
Provide them with some water,
Don’t leave the tree trunks bare.

It affects other things too,
Like animals, plants and more.
I personally think,
It’s worse than starting war.

Reduce, re use, recycle,
It’s not very hard to do.
We cannot miss this chance,
If I can do it, so can you!

Can you save the world?
You might not think so.
But if we all worked together,
The answer wouldn’t be ‘no!’

If you really care,
Prove it to the world.

By Mikaela


A better idea than ‘Rock!’

On Tuesday the 22nd of July we went to Wallpolla Island. We were led by a Park Ranger from Parks Victoria who knew a lot about the environment and had a passion for biodiversity. Kids seemed to respect him and everybody got along with him. So I ask you, would he be a good role model instead of ”Rock?”A person who doesn’t call eight year old girls ”chickie babes?”

A park ranger with a good sense of humor and some good jokes would be a perfect role model. Imagine how well the advertisements would turn out!

So please give me your thoughts and ideas about Rock and my park ranger idea.


Mini Fete at Mildura West Primary


A waste wise event means:
? we need to reduce rubbish so we are putting in more bins at events
? to help keep everything clean and litter free
? helping everybody know where the bins are by showing where they are on a school map
? telling everybody the Mini Fete is waste wise.



Waste Wise Mini Fete

The Mini Fete will be a waste wise event which means that there won’t be any rubbish on the ground at all.

To plan a waste wise event we would need to: -figure out a way to get people to put their rubbish in the bin.
-think of a way to encourage people to put their rubbish in the bin.
-make slogans.
-design ads and any other ways to advertise it.
-infrastructure such as a range of bins.
-little products like a map to find bins and stalls, something to put their rubbish in while they’re not near a bin and something to say thank you for being a waste wise person.

The customers attending would need to know:
-where the bins are.
-that it is a rubbish free event.
-what a waste wise event is.

To let the the people know that it is a waste wise event we could use:
-news letters

The people you would need to tell … anyone that you would like to come like
-and …local people so they learn what it is like to run something that is waste free.