Students are thinking green, working on a number of innovative and fun ways to make a positive impact on their environment.
Here are just a few examples across the Delta School District:
South Delta Secondary
The SDSS Environmental Club has organized a variety of school-wide initiatives like Zero-Waste Lunch Day and Cozy Sweater Day in an effort to get certified through EcoSchools Canada.
To celebrate Earth Day, students held an eco-friendly Spirit Week where students could participate in different challenges like bringing a reusable water bottle, eating a plant-based meal, and walking, biking or bussing to school. The Environmental Club has improved the school courtyards to make them a friendly space for birds, pollinators and students alike.
In the fall of 2020, the Club participated in an outdoor clean-up of the school grounds and nearby park, picking up garbage and firework leftovers.
To celebrate Earth Day, Grade 5 and 6 students (Division 5) from Hawthorne Elementary set out to raise awareness of how everyone can take small steps towards saving the planet. The school’s Green Team invited students to write a poem about Mother Earth and were overwhelmed with entries. Additionally, the Green Team encouraged the school to walk or ride their wheels all week, and on Earth Day, students showed their support by wearing green.
Devon Gardens Elementary
At Devon Gardens Elementary, the goal is to encourage children to first learn how to love the earth, before they are asked to save it. This starts in Kindergarten with students enjoying many lessons and adventures outside so that they have an opportunity to connect with nature.
Although Green Team initiatives at Chalmers Elementary have been scaled back due to COVID-19, Green Team membership still exceeds more than 50 students from grades 3 to 7. Students have focused on maintaining the courtyard at Chalmers to make it enjoyable for staff and students to use for reading, doing art projects and studying nature. In addition, students are growing blueberries, strawberries and potatoes.
During Earth Week, the Green Team promoted Lights Out Lunch and Litterless Pack in Pack Out Lunch, Walk to School Wednesday, wearing Earth Colours and Power Down Friday. The Green Team has also been involved in initiatives such as cutting all the plastic off the binders so the cardboard can be recycled at school and taking the metal to a recycling depot. The most recent initiative by the Green Team is caring for the newly planted Cedar tree at the school, part of the District’s Giving Tree project.
The 2019/20 Green Team raised $800 to build garden boxes. This year, the Green Team has built, sanded and stained the boxes and installed them in the Sands courtyard.
The Seaquam Green team has continued to meet virtually throughout the pandemic, taking part in a variety of virtual campaigns and initiatives, often working with green team leaders from throughout the Lower Mainland (e.g. Be the Change Earth Alliance, Youth 4 Action and Metro-Vancouver Sustainability networks).
Students expanded the school raingarden, installed wheelchair-accessible planter bins for the Lifeskills program, participated in socially-distant community cleanups, ivy pulls, and fish releases with Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, and made virtual presentations at local elementary schools.
Many Green Team students also competed in the United Nations annual Young Reporters for the Environment Program. This month, two Grade 9 students, Anika Dass and Diya Dhaliwal, won the 2021 Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Canada National Competition for their submission. Anika and Diya will go on to represent Canada in the YRE International competition this fall.
At Sunshine Hills Elementary, staff and students are trying to tackle ‘the plastic problem’ by spreading awareness and encouraging zero-waste school lunches to discourage the use of products with excessive packaging.
For periods of two weeks at a time, classes are competing with each other to see how little plastic garbage they can bring. The class that wins get to vote on a prize. The prize for everybody is a healthier planet.