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Our vision for Canada is… a sustainable environment for future generations. Project Vision: to educate our youth and our community on making choices in order to live in a sustainable and healthy way. Environment issues addressed: Convenience vs. sustainability, pace of life vs. nature appreciation, consumer choices vs. rights to a clean environment, and ignorance of important life skills which help sustain a healthy environment.
Importance in our community: we feel environmental sustainability is important in every community! In addition, our youth is inundated with negative and frightening (but true) messages especially from media messages regarding Climate Change and by addressing the issues head on, we are hoping to promote environmental appreciation, action, and thereby lowering our need to be anxious about our future.
What we did to make our vision come true: Our Eco-Speer-it Team met a few times each week throughout the year (in different teams) to plan and implement our chosen environmental initiatives for the year. We met and planned our final culmination (which is ongoing!) and “Earth Day is Every Day” school-wide celebration was planned and executed! We involved everyone in the school (students, staff, parents, custodians, admin. team). We organized and secured some funding (example- transportation costs for the Adventure Race in Bronte Creek PP from our Board) and put together the scheduling, spaces, and resources for the students, staff, and guests. Then we promoted it! How our project addresses environmental dimensions of the issue: By offering so many different angles about how to love and take care of the Earth (and learn how it takes care of us), students found themselves in a very different kind of morning that was so out of the ordinary- the messages were almost hidden in the excitement of a conference kind of feel. It wasn’t until we all got together in the afternoon to share with each other what we did in the morning and what we learned that the theme came to light. Get outside. Love nature- and this is how! How our actions engage students, our school, our community: By offering a wide range of electives, using the talents of our staff, our students were automatically engaged. Almost every student got to participate in their first elective choice. Every student participated, very staff memeber participated, and parent volunteers helped create the exciting atmosphere for each elective. How our youth leadership is highlighted: Our eco team is divided up into different categories and the gardening team took great leadership. The Eco Team took on leadership throughout the year and the planning stages, but the gardening team helped in every aspect (even the raising of funds through selling bees wax Wraps made locally as a fundraising activity) of the implementation of our three gardens- veg., pollinator, and milkweed. They learned about which other plants (example- blazing star plant) would attract butterflies and created signs to educate our school community about the importance f pollinators and their plight due to human activity. Our team inspired the RRR Relay elective by collecting data, performing a waste audit with a representatitve from the Halton Region waste management, and promoted “Trashless Tuesdays” and weaned our school off of our garbage bins to a small garbage “can” to educate and promote about waste minimalization. They became “Waste Ninjas at an assembly to hint that they would be taking the bins out of the classroom!
Reflection & Celebration
Reflection: A parent came to McB (one of the teacher eco leaders) and in a joking way thanked her for making more work for him. A litterless lunch, beeswax wraps, trashless tuesdays, boomerang lunch, hikes on the weekend, Earth Hour! His daughter isn’t even on the eco team! He then sincerely thanked her and she replied, it’s not me- it’s all of us together. That’s exactly how we are going to make change. Not super eco friendly teachers, not conscientious parents, not even the student leader who has their priorities straight. It’s all of us together. When our youth see adults working together, creating opportunity for action, they take it, and they RUN WITH IT! We are ALL on the Eco Team. 🙂 And we celebrate (by coming up with the next bright idea!) the job well done together. Keep up the good work, LSF (sponsored by RBC). Thank YOU.