St. Martha Catholic School
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that helps school communities develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible citizens and reduce the ecological footprint of schools. The program is focused on both student learning and school operations.
The 4 pillars of Ontario EcoSchools are:
- Ecological Literacy
- Energy Conservation
- Waste Minimization
- School Ground Greening
EcoSchool Certification Process:
· Our goal is to obtain Gold Certification by June. We need to be able to provide evidence that we have reduced our energy consumption, minimized waste, greened school grounds and taught students and staff to be more ecologically literate.
New Initiatives to be considered in 2015-2016:
· Electronic Parent Newsletters
· Composting through City of Kingston
· Collecting e-waste
· Reorganization and improvement of school wide recycling practices
· Other ideas??? Please let an EcoTeam member know!
Staff and Student Responsibilities:
ü All Classes will select 2 EcoSchools representatives. They will be responsible for the following:
o Attending EcoClub meetings.
o Monitoring waste disposal/recycling practices within their classroom.
o Ensuring the boomerang lunch practices are being followed (all waste goes home with students).
o Ensure that proper recycling practices are being followed within the classroom (e.g. no unnecessary garbage, waste is put into the proper recycling container, containers are
rinsed before being disposed of so, etc.)
o Bring recycling to the performing arts room and putting it into the proper containers
o Other students who are not chosen as class representatives are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the school-wide EcoTeam.
ü All classes will be equipped with the proper recycling containers. Please let the caretakers know if you require additional bins for your classroom.
ü All classes will practice
boomerang lunch practices. All waste that comes with students as part of their lunch is sent home with the student to be recycled at home (This is important because township recycling takes more materials than the private company that our school employs)
ü Classes should use GOOS paper (Good
Side) paper whenever possible. GOOS paper bins will be placed in the computer lab and by every photocopier. Please place paper that is unmarked on one side and can be reused in these bins. Use the paper from these bins whenever possible for photocopying, printing or general use.
ü All lights should be turned out when not in use
ü All computers and other electrical appliances should be turned off at the end of the day or when not in use.
ü Teachers are encouraged to incorporate environmental education into classroom lessons and activities. The following are some good resources and documents that you can use:
Why Do We Do Boomerang Lunches at St. Martha Catholic School?
Many schools across Ontario are moving toward boomerang lunches as a way to make a difference for our environment. There are many reasons why boomerang lunches are a very important part of our EcoSchools plan. The purpose is not to just transfer trash disposal responsibilities from the school to home. An important aspect of the program is to encourage parents and students to review and think about the way they prepare and package lunch foods. Most lunch trash comes from disposable packaging of single use. It has been estimated that on average a school age child using disposable lunch packaging generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. When you think about the number of students at our school, it really adds up! A Boomerang Lunch also provides parents with first hand knowledge of the eating habits and preferences of their children. All leftovers are carried home at the end of the day so that parents can see what's been eaten or not! Another reason why boomerang lunches are critical to decreasing waste is because industrial properties, like schools are required to use commercial recycling companies. These companies often do not take the same materials as the township does. For instance our company will not take things such as #3 and #6 plastics and corrugated cardboard. These are all things that are accepted by township recycling. Composting is also a service that is available for many homes but is not currently available at our school.
Tips' for Successful (and Less Messy) Boomerang Lunches
CHOOSE A PERMANENT PACKAGING SOLUTION
Pack a waste-free lunch using items such as:
- reusable lunch bag or box (look for a hard plastic interior, as it can easily be wiped clean)
- reusable water bottles
- reusable plastic containers
- reusable utensils
It is helpful if students are able to practice opening the containers so that they are able to get lids on and off easily.
Choose to buy food that is not over-packaged by buying items in bulk rather than single use containers and placing them daily in re-sealable containers. Example – buy the large yogurt containers and put it into a re-sealable container. Buying food this way tends to save money too!!!
LET NATURE WRAP YOUR FOOD FOR YOU!
Oranges, bananas, apples etc. all come with their own handy packaging that can be composted at home.
One last Tip…
In order to avoid the mess associated with food and container that your child is bringing home you may want to include a 'scraps' bag where your child can place messy items so that they are contained. This bag should be rinsed out and then used again.
As and EcoSchool we are working hard to reduce the ecological footprint of our school through teaching our students to become environmentally responsible citizens. We appreciate your support with making boomerang lunches a successful part of our program.
At ALCDSB we embrace our call to be stewards of God's Gift of Creation. In the context of student success, stewardship takes on a holistic meaning encompassing stewardship of the environment, self and those around us. With this in mind, Outdoor and Environmental Education programming within the ALCDSB seeks to engage our students, Kindergarten through Grade 12, in authentic, integrated learning experiences within the natural environment and within the school community. Engagement levels are high at our Outdoor Centres as students are physically active while exploring the interconnectedness of living things.
Within the school community, our students continue to participate in Ontario EcoSchools, a rigorous, province-wide certification program which is the vehicle for the Ministry of Education's Policy Framework for Environmental Education in Ontario Schools. The Ontario EcoSchools program places eco-action directly within the sphere of student influence leading to a sense of empowerment and meaningful participation in the local community.
For more information on Ontario EcoSchools, please visit: ecoschools.ca