Five Rainbow Schools have now achieved Ontario EcoSchools certifications.
Walden Public School, Lockerby Composite School, Carl A. Nesbitt Public School, Lively District Secondary School and R.H. Murray Public School have received certification recognizing their achievement in six key areas: teamwork and leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, Ecological Literacy and Environmental Stewardship.
“We are proud of the achievements of Rainbow Schools,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Certification to this standard speaks volumes about the great initiatives undertaken by staff and students to support sustainability throughout the board.
“We are instilling a culture of conservation in our schools and fostering environmental awareness among the young people who will lead us into the future.”
Walden Public School and Lockerby Composite School recently received the Go Green Globe Award at the Rainbow District School Board’s Awards Ceremony.
At Walden Public School, young environmentalists promote litter-free lunches, daily recycling, and organic waste collection. Suze Reuse, Michael Recycle and Bruce Reduce, cartoon characters created by a teacher, encourage students to take ownership of their ecological footprint.
The school also serves as a battery recycling centre, communicates via email to be 96-per-cent paperless, and is in the process of establishing a no-mow zone in its natural school yard.
Lockerby Composite School has implemented many initiatives — school-wide recycling, printer cartridge and battery collection, water refilling stations, reduced heat and overall energy use, and schoolyard regreening.
Conservation is an important part of the culture at the school. Class projects include conducting waste audits, mapping out locations for garden boxes, trees, benches and picnic tables, watering garden beds and planting trees.
Rainbow District School Board has also recognized other schools receiving certification.
Carl A. Nesbitt Public School received the Go Green Globe Award in 2012 for making sustainability a way of life in the classroom and the community. The school is affectionately known as “Greenland”, promoting litterless lunches and reusable water bottles, hosting cleanup weeks, conserving energy, selling rain barrels and recycling old computers and other electronics. Students enjoy poetry readings outdoors, play in shaded areas, and tend to gardens.
Lively District Secondary School received the Go Green Globe Award in 2009 for its school-wide environmental efforts. Students traveled to rural communities in Costa Rica, providing LED lighting systems to some of the poorest and most remote areas of the world. They also ran a successful battery drive for the Hazardous Waste Depot, recycled old electronics, and set up vermicomposters in two science classrooms.
At R.H. Murray Public School, lights and monitors are turned off when not in use. Litterless lunches and recycling are encouraged, newsletters are shared via email, and a water-bottle-refilling station was installed earlier this year. Students took part in the Weston Family Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow Program, where they discussed how to reduce their own environmental footprint.
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program that helps school communities develop ecological literacy and improve environmental practices to reduce the ecological footprint of schools.
The Ontario EcoSchools program encourages schools to conserve energy, minimize waste and provide students with the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices they need to become environmentally responsible citizens.