With second semester comes a lot of changes, so we did a second walk around to ensure everyone is doing the best practices. We also reassigned the organics bins to classes that wanted them. We got a lot of positive responses. Along with the class rooms we got the hospitality classroom on board with the organics bin. It will be a task.
A yearly event that is both an environmental talking subject and a way to generate some money for our future projects. Our yearly metal and battery drive. The main objective is yes to collect metal to raise money but it really has a bigger meaning. It gets people talking, about reducing our consumption and looking at the impact we have based on our buying habits. What we buy determines what brands and companies stay afloat and which crash, so if we choice to buy from a producer who choices to make products in a sustainable and efficient method pre and post-consumer we can control where our resources go. We as consumers have the biggest input on products companies make.
So the big Ontario eco schools Super conference. The first day was a very informational day. We learned about a close loop economy where companies and consumers work together to ensure that the products sold are sustainably sourced and the post-consumer product is broken down and reused. We spent the day at cascades, a company that is spur heading this initiative. After a tour of the factory we headed down to the water front to feel a connection to the surroundings and have a drive to make a solution to the problem at hand. Getting producers and consumers to care and participate in a close loop economy.
The second day we went to the official Ontario eco schools super conference. For the most part it was teachers but there were us few students there for the problem solving session like we are. We got in our groups and got to work. We all came up with some good ideas to solve the problem.
Overall the super conference was a beneficial event to our development our environmental awareness.
to promote responsible energy use we decided to go along with the season and do an ugly Christmas sweater event. along with the sweaters and a contest we dropped the school temperature by two degrees.
we set up a booth today at lunch to spread the results of our waste audit and promote the use of reusable water bottles over single use water bottles. We didn't have as many people come to the booth as we wanted but it was still something to promote change.
The time has come it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dig in to the trash to see what we can find. Waste audit time. We wanted to do a waste audit to get an idea of our major contamination issues so that we could target that specific item rather than just guessing. It also gave us some physical real world numbers that we can use to help our case when we are pushing for school wide policy and more relatable data to make people care more. This was a lot of work and took a lot of resources to conduct, it was messy and took a lot of planning but it was definitely worth it. So the results were our organic contamination rate. It was high so that is going to be our major focus in the coming months.
So the time has come, it has been a month. A month since we introduced our challenge to the staff, the month went well. It was pretty obvious that a lot of the staff where striving to achieve the goal of the 10% school wide reduction. They changed the way they taught and were more conscious about what they printed and how much they printed. It was nice to see that people can change the way they do things. So the results, we surpassed our overall goal at a total of 12% we hope this trend can continue on and we will be able to see a drop in the amount of paper we use annually as we transition on to paperless schooling. Unfortunately we couldn’t congratulate the staff in person at the staff meeting but we were able to make a video that could play in room of our absence.
We got the pretty cool opportunity to travel to Guelph University and take part in a youth environmentalist conference ran by the Learning for a sustainable future (LSF) directed at promoting change through a project or campaign. It was for sure an early and long day with a big drive in the middle but it exposed us to some great possible ideas for what we want to do and also let us see what other schools in a different school board are doing. One of the big things that stuck with us from the day was the impact of single use disposable water bottles both on the environment of the manufacturing and disposal of the physical bottle but also the environmental impacts due to the pumping of ground water. It was motivating to us to make this a focus at our school. Along with the information we took from the day the LSF gave us so funding to do a project at our school.
Here at Nantyr we do lots of school spirt events that normally result in a lot of single use water and juice being use and normally not ending up in the wrong place. So to make our school more sustainable and reduce the amount of waste produced we took on the catering for this event. We looked for a more sustainable and lower impact plan then 300 single use plastic. We decided to go with two liter bottles and compostable paper cups. It worked out amazing and we dropped the amount of waste produced by tenfold and I am excited to say it worked out so well and impressed the staff so much that we are now working on a school wide protocol to make this a requirement for any future events.