West Springs School – Be Green


We started off our project with an interest in using a FoodCycler to help our classroom to reduce our food waste. Our school is considered a P3 school. This means we don’t get the same treatment as the rest of the schools in the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), as we only rent our building. With this classification, our school is immensely behind with being green. We didn’t have proper recycling, no composting, and didn’t even know how to recycle paper through Iron Mountain, as nobody would pay for the services. Our school had very little underway to reduce our impact on the climate, nor any positive modelling for our 509 students.


With an amazing new principal, Susan Westgate, we were guided to bring students into real-world challenges and situations. The green challenge? No composting. With the action project funding, we purchased a FoodCycler from EcoSchools Canada to use in our classroom. This indoor food waste recycler helped the students take their previous learnings of Waste and our World – Lifecycle of compost, farm to fork, etc. and apply it to our classroom. We used our food waste, which often went into the garbage and turn it into nutrient-rich soil in hours, all while the students are going about their day. In Grade 4, we not only learn about the waste that we create, but also about how various plants grow. With our FoodCycler, the students are using this soil to foster their education journey of growing a plant, to meet the learning outcome of ‘growing a seed to seed’.

This action project didn’t end there, it snowballed into a school-wide project that led to flourishing plants, waste management practices, school challenges, EcoSchools certification, student-led presentations to grades K-3, and a Grade 4 legacy. My Grade 4 class of 27 students were empowered by the change that having a FoodCycler brought. We had other teachers, staff and students visiting our classroom and providing food waste to compost. With the interest and impact of this project we realized that so much more can be done at our school. With support from administration on cohorts, etc. we were able to begin the next stage of the project. Creating a Green Team club. The students were given the task of ‘getting the word out’ to the other Grade 4 students that we were creating a Green Team. Google Slides presentations were created with interactive sorting games, Kahoot’s on waste knowledge, Mr. Beast videos on TeamTrees, posters and an application form. The effect was instantaneous at our end of the school. Most of the Grade 4 students became members of the Green Team club. This set us up to take on even more projects! We created twelve groups with projects that interested the students or were created by the students. From plant sitters who used our compost to ‘feed’ the school’s plants, Green Police that monitored classes’ improvement for sorting waste, creating bottle drives to make art, etc. each group was driven to make a positive change in our school.

Reflection & Celebration

The Green Team didn’t want to stop there. We began looking into EcoSchools certification and took on several actions to coincide with our Green Team plans to re-green our school. Anti-idling posters were created after assessing the amount of congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, alongside Ever Active Transportation. Sit spots were utilized to revisit well loved areas of land. Our school finished off the 2021/22 school year with a bronze level badge from completing several actions!

Throughout the school year, our principal fought for updating our school’s waste management system. The Grade 4 Green Team was determined to be a leader of change for our school. After becoming knowledgeable about being green, the Green Team created wonderful presentations for the various Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 classes to help them learn how to sort their waste using the new waste management system. With this opportunity to reach out to students across the school and make a positive impact in every classroom, the Grade 4’s have left a great legacy behind as they move on to their new school next year.

4. Quality Education
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
What is your vision for Canada?
Share your vision and action today
Submit Project