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Rainbow board students challenged to reduce environmental impacts of pandemic

People are driving less, but at the same time disposable PPE is filling up landfill sites

Rainbow District School Board is challenging students to make the connection between the pandemic and the environment, and to commit to zero waste and energy conservation in response to the global crisis.

Through this challenge, students will become aware of how the pandemic has affected our planet, and will brainstorm solutions to make a difference.

This green initiative is part of the Environmental Committee’s ongoing efforts to encourage sustainable practices and increase awareness about various environmental issues.

“The pandemic has had positive and negative impacts on the environment,” says Director of Education Norm Blaseg, in a press release. “On one hand, people are driving less, therefore reducing carbon emissions. On the other hand, disposable medical products used to keep us safe are filling up landfill sites.”

The environmental impacts from COVID-19 vary in extreme, from an increase in biomedical waste and chemical pollution, to improvements in air and water quality, to a reduction of noise and restoration of our ecology.

Impacts at the school level include more idling during drop-off and pick-up, an increase in individual plastic waste consumption and a suspension on composting organics.

How can we make a difference? Opt for a reusable face mask whenever possible, turn off the engine for drop-off and pick-up time, and bring wasteless and boomerang lunches to school whenever possible.

The Board’s Environmental Committee issues monthly challenges throughout the year.

In November, students went paper-free for the day.

What will next month’s challenge be?