Environmental education

There are many ways we can help to protect the Central Coast environment. Green living has many ways for you to get involved and make a difference. This page includes links to programs, activities and groups and school programs that will help on your road to environmental sustainability.

Are you looking for ways to get involved in environmental initiatives and events? Looking for things that you can do to help keep our environment healthy on a local and global level while meeting like-minded people?

Green living includes minimising your electricity consumption and waste production, composting and worm farming, shopping resourcefully, maximising household recycling, and being emissions-wise. Here are some great Green Living programmes.

Green Living Workshops

Council runs a number of free workshops on a variety of topics that will help you to live greener. Topics include compost and worm farming, keeping backyard chickens, energy efficiency, smart pools and green cleaning. Full details of topics, venues and dates can be viewed through our Events Calendar.

Green Living Resources

Here are some factsheets on gardening topics to help on the road to green living.

Easy Composting

Easy Worm Farming

The Marvel of Mulching

Community programmes

Central Coast Environmental education organisations

These education groups and organisations play a significant role in the Central Coast community.

Take 3 – encourages people to pick up three plastic items from the beach.

Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre - a children-focused marine centre offering a variety of interactive activities, tours & science exhibits.

Community Environment Network - an overarching body to support individuals and groups in Lake Macquarie, Wyong and Gosford who are working for the environment.

Community Gardens

The Central Coast has a number of fantastic and productive community vegetable gardens that are always looking for new members. Find out where your nearest community garden is and get involved.

Family programs

COSS Family Nature Club

The Coastal Open Space System (COSS) Family Nature Clubs are groups of families who enjoy nature, wildlife and meet on a regular basis as a club.

Family nature clubs are made up of people who want to teach their children life skills, creativity, problem solving, and confidence. Your family nature club is your own - you decide where you go, who you go with, when and how often. Central Coast Council can provide you with free information on how to get started and some ideas for your hassle-free outings.

View the COSS Family Nature Club Guide as an Interactive PDF on Your Screen

For information send an email with your name and postal address to familynatureclub@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

Where can we go?

The Wildwalks website is an interactive guide with information on tracks, trails and camping areas in New South Wales - including those that are wheelchair accessible.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service also has a Guide to National Parks in New South Wales.

Littering

Even though most people do the right thing by placing rubbish in the bins provided, litter continues to be a major issue for the region.

We have been leading by example when it comes to reducing litter, having rolled out a number of successful initiatives and will continue to do so. To help reduce litter of single use plastics we have provided more than 3,000 reusable net produce bags and 5300 reusable coffee cups to the community as well as removing plastic straws from the counter at Laycock Street Community Theatre and Gosford Olympic Pool, with paper straws available on request.

In 2018-19 Grant funding also went towards clean-ups of target areas (motorway link Blue Haven, Somersby Industrial Park and Kariong M1 on ramp), distribution of 2500 reusable litter bags to businesses to help motorists  dispose of waste responsibly, roadside signs at each site reminding motorists how to report littering from vehicles to the EPA as well as the installation of 20 dash cams in Rangers vehicles, increasing the chances of offenders being caught littering.

The issue of litter is not one we can tackle alone, and we urge all residents and visitors to make sure they are doing their part to ‘Keep the Coast Clean’ and help protect our waterways and valleys from plastics and pollution by placing rubbish in our public place litter bins or keeping it with you until it can be disposed of correctly.

Littering from vehicles can be reported to the EPA online at epa.nsw.gov.au/reporttoepa or via the Report to EPA mobile App. Please remember - it is unlawful for drivers to use a mobile phone to record this information unless the car is parked ignition turned off.

Waste education

Council has a wide range of waste education and resources available for people of all ages.

1Coast, 1World

Here you can find out all you need to know about the waste management and recycling service provided for the residents of the Central Coast. 1Coast 1World has information for school assignments or fun and games for the children. It includes:

  • Latest 1Coast news, events and competitions
  • Domestic waste and recycling service booklets
  • School and community group tours of the recycling facilities
  • Printable activity sheets and online games, and
  • Mr Yellow news and tips

Food waste

Food waste accounts for 36 per cent of the waste that Central Coast residents put in their general (red top) waste bins. Wasting food is a waste of energy, resources, water and of your money. Love Food Hate Waste has lots of useful tips and ideas including:

  • Delicious recipes for leftover food
  • Meal planners, and
  • Portion size calculators
  • Electricity from waste

We collect so much food waste and other organic matter in our landfills that when it ferments we are able to ‘harvest’ the powerful greenhouse gas, methane. Central Coast Council traps methane at landfills and generates electricity from it. For more information email waste@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

Refill Not Landfill - get bottled water free

Australians spend over a half a billion dollars a year on bottled water. Over half of these bottles, will end up in landfill or as litter. Council is encouraging residents to ditch the bottled water habit and get into reusing refillable bottles instead.

If you are a community group organising an event and would like to hire our portable refill stations, contact greenliving@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au for details.

Early childhood and schools environmental programs

Early childhood

Little Green Steps is a regional sustainability education programme for early childhood services. The programme consists of, professional development in-services for educators held bi-annually in local centres; support through Council’s Education Team; and a series of teacher resource kits developed around the themes of biodiversity, energy, stormwater, waste and water. Council aims to:

  • Engage early childhood educators and build capacity around sustainability education
  • Educate children, in very basic terms about sustainability
  • Inform parents and carers about how they can implement simple practices at home
  • Provide ongoing educational support to residents

Primary Schools

The 2018 Central Coast Council’s Primary School Environment Program is themed ‘Let’s get drastic with plastic’ and challenges schools and students to undertake and maintain initiatives reducing the amount of plastics used, particularly single use plastics. The program fosters a strong understanding of environmental issues and a commitment to positive behaviour. Its components are:

  • A Central Coast Council Environment Program Resource Package
  • School competition
  • Individual student project competition
  • Themed Leadership Day – a fun and interactive day of environmental education and leadership skills for senior primary school students

View the competition Terms and Conditions.

High Schools

BluePlanet

A water and environmental education website for high school students with information that links directly to the New South Wales Science, Geography, Agriculture and Marine Studies syllabuses. Resources include local case studies, games, and factsheets.

Future Council

‘Future Council’ provides a great opportunity for local high school students to experience the workings of Council. Developed in partnership with Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre, it is linked to the Australia Curriculum and Syllabus for Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10), ‘Civics and Citizenship’.

Students develop an understanding of civics and citizenships specific to the Central Coast community, investigate the role of local government and how it fits into the democratic process, explore quadruple bottom line issues and management, and role play in the decision making process of local government.

For more information on any of these programmes contact Council's Community Learning Team on 1300 463 954.

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Last updated : Mon 18 Nov 2019