Small Scale Actions Make a Difference


Our science 10 class agreed that we wanted to take part in the Youth Climate Change Forum. We voted as a group on which sessions that we wanted to participate in and got some great ideas for our action projects. We attended the kick-off session and were able to get some great encouragement about needing perseverance if you want to make a difference and take on a project. Alone or in small groups students decided what action project they wanted to plan and carry out. The projects were quite different but all were able to make some valuable impacts.


We attended the session on ocean plastics and four students took it as inspiration to use plastic bottles as planters for an activity session with grade 5 students at a local school. The lesson taught the students some basics about climate change and decreasing their carbon footprint. The elementary students participated in a Blooket online quiz that reviewed some of the information from the presentation and a couple of personal actions that young people could take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After the Blooket, the 4 student facilitators led an activity where the grade 5 students got to plant seeds by re-using a single-use plastic bottle as a planter. The students got a quick lesson on how to take care of the plants and how the flowers were good for pollinators and the beans could be used as a source of locally produced food. There were 3 different classes that participated in the activity, with a total of more than 50 students. A great time was had by all.

We attended the session on wildlife and habitats impacted by climate change which was the jumping off point for some of our other projects. One student decided to research how to help our struggling bat populations in Nova Scotia. He found some bat house designs and constructed one to put on his property.

Recent deforestation has impacted chickadee habitats in the local area so one group decided to build nesting boxes for chickadees that they will be placing outside of town in a wooded area. They researched a design and built two boxes in our school’s construction lab. They have found out how to effectively install them and will be doing so soon.

A third set of students inspired by how climate change is impacting habitats created a bee protection and awareness project. Its goal is promoting the planting of bee-friendly plants. The students have grown a number of pollinator friendly flowers to plant on the school grounds and sell at a plant sale. The flowers were specially selected for their benefits for bees as well as other pollinators.

After watching the session about food sustainability called “The Journey to Your Plate: Food & Technology” two students wanted to educate younger students about what they had learned about and then further researched. They have planned a session to be held with grade 4 and 5 students at another local elementary school where they are teaching them about the importance of eating local foods and growing their own food. They’ll be showing the students how to grow their own sprouts. The two classes they will present to separately will have each have around 20 students.

Two groups of students ended up having some overlap in their projects. After the action project planning session, two groups decided that litter near our school was an important issue that they wanted to address. One group researched and then proposed where garbage cans should be placed along popular student walking routes to make it more likely students will place garbage in cans than to litter. The other group of students also saw littering as a problem but wanted to tackle the issue in a slightly different way. They designed anti-littering posters to place in both our high school and a local elementary school. So far they have been brought to one local elementary school and we will be printing more to place at our own school. Both groups have already presented their plans to our school principal and our town’s Director of Planning and Economic Development (EDO) and by-law officer. After seeing the presentation, our EDO has asked the students to combine their ideas and present it to the town’s Committee of the Whole as a plan to place garbage cans that are covered/wrapped with the posters they have designed. The meeting is Jun 22, 2023. It may have the students working with another group, Wastecheck, to fund the garbage cans.

A final project was also inspired by the action project planning session. Our school has an outdoor courtyard that ends up being very wet every time we get a heavy rainfall but also ends up being very dry in the summer. When there is too much extra water it makes the outdoor space less likely to be used by students. Also, as rain weather events seem to be getting more extreme and summers have been drier and hotter, it is important to plant species that can tolerate these conditions. The solution that the students proposed was to plant two trees at the edge of the courtyard where they could absorb water when it is available but also tolerate when it gets dry, create shade and block wind. Red maples were chosen because they are native species in Nova Scotia that are good at absorbing water and are also drought tolerant. Trees also are a good way to capture carbon.

Reflection & Celebration

Completing these projects has been a great experience for the students. Skills used and developed working on the projects have not only helped students learn about the importance of being environmentally conscious but also how small actions of individuals, even young people, can have an impact. Thanks to LSF for making these project possible!

4. Quality Education
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the Goals
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