The human caused changes in our planet’s climate are finally becoming recognized as the crisis of our time. Governments are committing to change, organizations are striving to reduce their ecological footprint and individuals are starting to take action.
Island Pacific School is striving to educate students about the issues and impacts of climate change while inspiring them to take positive actions toward helping the planet. We teach students about environmental sustainability, but the best way to inspire them is to give them opportunities to take their own actions.
While we have been making strides over the past years by creating food and pollinator gardens, building an indoor honey bee habitat, and installing Mason bee and bird houses, this year, we went further by starting a sustainability task force. We invited and met with parents, students and community members to help us make an action plan by creating measurable goals and implementing actions.
This year, we have put a concerted effort into improving our ecological footprint in many ways. We initiated a sustainability task force and set a number of goals for the year. We took on a number of projects and I am happy to report that we have achieved many of our goals through these projects. Here is a summary of our success so far:
- The grade 9 class conducted three audits:
- A waste audit with Liliana Segal from Green Chair Recycling who helped us come up with solutions and make improvements on the amount of waste we produce in the school
- A biodiversity audit with recommendations that include ongoing projects such as planting more trees and reducing soil erosion on the slopes around the property
- An energy audit with Matthew Redekopp who helped the students to see where we are wasting energy and how we might improve. Many of the students are excited about leading some campaigns and made suggestions such as installing solar panels, programmable thermostats and switching our lightbulbs to LEDs to help improve the school’s ecological footprint and reduce our energy consumption.
- We joined the organization called EcoSchools Canada which helps schools to improve their footprints through initiatives and rewards and we are currently working toward becoming a bronze-certified school.
- We ran a school-wide initiative to get every student to take on an EcoSchools project and had great success.
- Students ran challenges such as Waste-free Wednesday, Walk to School Wednesdays and National Wear a Sweater Day.
In the coming weeks, we will be hosting guest speakers to talk about their roles in helping the planet. We will then create opportunities for students to choose and implement an action that helps to improve our school’s carbon footprint. We are excited about the momentum we are building and we look forward to seeing the results of our actions toward building a greener school.