Ashcroft Secondary School, Ashcroft, BC (winner for second year): After a field trip to their local landfill site, the Grade 9 students determined that a significant amount of paper is being thrown away. They surveyed community residents to assess the willingness to participate in a community-wide paper recycling project then launched an advocacy program aimed at the school, media and municipal council. The school agreed to install paper recycling bins and the council pledged to make it a number one goal of the coming year.
Lord Beaverbrook High School, Calgary, Alberta: Tthe Ecology Club which calls itself the “H2O Squad” developed a water conservation action plan including conducting a water consumption audit. They won the school board’s support to undertake a study of comparing the school’s current water consumption against the consumption that would occur using low-flow taps and sensors. The project calls for water meters to be installed and beginning in September, the students will monitor the meters to gather information for the comparison. The action plan also targets the school’s water cooled compressors which currently cools the walk-in refrigerators. The students will undertake a study to determine the water conserving capabilities of a newer, more efficient air cool system. They plan to fund-raise to buy the new system next year.
Davidson High School, Davidson, Saskatchewan: Grade 7 students assessed their ecological footprint and decided they could reduce their impact by making fellow students aware of the importance of reusing and recycling clothing. They organized a used clothing drive and then a fashion show to illustrate how to make comfortable, appealing and ecologically-sound clothing from discarded fashions. The students plan to encourage the school to source environmentally-friendly clothing to feature the school logo and team names.
Deloraine School, Deloraine, Manitoba: Grade 10 students set out to reduce the ecological footprint of the school through five activities and achieved the following result:
— reduce the idling of school buses and private vehicles; bus drivers agreed they would delay starting the buses
— compost lunch room waste; diverted 12 kg to 15 kg of organic waste daily
— increase the recovery of recyclables in the school; achieved a 300 per cent increase in the diversion of recyclables
— encourage a walk-to-school program; half the school population walked or biked to school for a week and local business were challenged to participate in the walk, too
— educate lower grades on renewable energy; presented information on ozone depletion, global warming and use of bio-fuels
Etobicoke School of the Arts, Toronto, Ontario: Members of the Arts Geography Club decided to work toward a substantial increase in the school’s waste diversion with the ultimate goal of earning a bronze certification in the Ontario EcoSchool Program. The students assessed where waste accumulates and persuaded the school to add waste collection bins in those locations; they collected batteries and cell phones and delivered them to a local household hazardous waste depot; in addition, they are developing systems to divert organic waste and build an Eco Art garden and they are talking to the school board about hosting an EcoConference next year.
Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School, Ridgeway, Ontario: By forming a “Green Team,” students set out to reduce the school’s ecological footprint by implementing an organic composting program and by developing a Carolinian Forest-inspired garden consisting of butterfly, shrub/rock, wildflower and native fern gardens. In a typical week, the students diverted 45 litres of organic food leftovers from waste into the composters. With help from the community, they were able to complete the gardens before the end of school. The group plans to launch an awareness program among students next year to increase the organics diversion.
St. Stephen Catholic School, Toronto, Ontario: With no environmental program in place in their school, these Grade 7 students decided to organize a Zero Waste Campaign. Realizing that awareness about the importance of waste reduction at their school and others was low, they persuaded the school board to let them organize an environmental conference for schools across the entire board. They created an environmental play and quiz show which they performed at several schools and succeeded in garnering media coverage on CTV and CBC radio. The students also captured the attention of Ontario MPP Peter Tabuns who appeared with them in the final presentation of their play and who met with the students afterwards to learn more about their recommendations for government action.
Visit the Youth Eco-Parliament website at www.eyep.info