Our vision for Canada is to become a more environmentally aware and sustainable nation. Through various initiatives we seek to educate the students and staff at our school on various sustainable practices from embracing “thrift” to creating gardens. We want to make our school into an environmentally sensitive building where environmental consciousness and sustainability are part of all decisions made by staff and students. We live close to Lake Ontario, many waterways and agricultural land. We hope to help staff and students better understand our impact on our immediate environment and how this impacts the world on a greater scale.
Since Sept 2018 with the creation of our group, we have had ongoing initiatives to bring awareness to our school on the importance of sustainable living. Initiative include:
– removal of bottled water from our school cafeteria, any staff functions, student functions or fundraising
– bringing paper straws to the cafeteria
– initiating incentives for students to use reusable cups in the cafeteria
– initiating a pairing of garbage cans and recycle bins with clear picture signage to indicate what can and cannot be recycled
– pop up thrift shop to encourage reusing run entirely by students.
– partnership with 4ocean to bring awareness to the problems of ocean plastics, kicked off with a student led assembly to educate the student body about single use plastics
– planned shoreline clean up to connect with our 4ocean campaign and bring local issues to the forefront, to connect to The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and our municipality to engage with our community.
– “Earth Week”, a new week long focus on the environment including the sale of 4ocean bracelets, a vegan lunch hosted by Copper Branch, and tie in’s to environmental issues in curriculum for the week after Earth Day
– Composting program initiated in cafeteria and foods classes
– compost used in our own pollinator garden
– expansion of gardens for food and flowers, together with the Environmental Science classes, and individual students who are interested in learning more about gardening.
Reflection & Celebration
Some of our initiatives have concluded, and some are on going. Challenges include time, having time to complete projects, and just how long it takes for some things to happen. Bigger projects require perseverance and patience to wait for the outcome. To ensure the ongoing sustainability of this project, we will continue with our group in September, have an idea for what we want to focus on in the next year, and keep trying to make BHS a more environmentally sustainable building.