Action at School

eco'tude is all about:

For the eco'tude calculator to come up with the best possible estimate of your schools ecological footprint requires accurate answers to the questions from you. To help you we have produced the "eco'tude Auditing Toolkit". The audits in the Toolkit will not only help you with your answers but they will also assist you to identify, measure and understand what is happening within your school.

The audits in the Toolkit fall into three broad categories:

1. Historical Audits

Historical audits involve the collection of data from sources such as bills, invoices and records. They are most commonly used to measure water and energy usage, but they can also be used to analyse school population trends and to monitor purchasing. Collecting this kind of data is also useful for you to have an understanding of your ongoing usage costs and for you to see the results of any action that you may undertake. This is commonly known as setting a "baseline".

2. Student & staff Interviews/Surveys

Information about personal consumption choices that people make cannot be easily measured unless you ask them. Conducting interviews or asking people to fill out surveys can achieve this. The audit is often called a "snapshot" as the accuracy of the data is dependant on the sample size, time of the audit and external factors. Ideally the more people that participate the more accurate your results will be.

3. Walkthrough Audits

The walkthrough audit is when you physically walk around the school inspecting all areas. During the audit you are noting down the condition of items, their inefficiencies and when possible suggesting ideas for improvements.

The audits in the toolkit that will help you more accurately answer the questions in the eco'tude calculator include:

» Historical bill audit
» School population audit
» Student & staff survey
» Land use walkthrough
» Building walkthrough
» Energy use walkthrough
» Water use walkthrough
» Solid waste disposal audit

You can identify which audit to carry out for which question on the eco'tude Auditing Results Table.

The following audits in the toolkit are not necessary to complete the eco'tude calculator, but if you carry them out they will help you identify some potential areas reduce the size of your ecological footprint or measure other areas of sustainability in your school.

» Leaking tap audit
» Meter Audits
» Solid Waste Component Audit
» Illumination Audit

Answers to some questions can't be measured or identified with an audit, but they still need to be answered. It's just a matter of working out who do you ask? You may need to speak to, and better still involve, one or more of the following staff members:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Principal
  • Administration
  • Gardener
  • General Assistants

Make a list of the remaining questions that you still need to answer more accurately. Next to each question identify which staff member would best be able to assist you.

A few tips that might help:

  • Arrange a time to meet
  • Be prepared and know exactly what you are asking for
  • Don't always expect an answer on the spot
  • Offer to involve them in the process if they appear keen.

Remember to conduct a successful audit requires planning and teamwork!