Tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs will be used from the school’s garden to help teach students about the importance of being environmentally friendly -- but it doesn’t stop there.
“Turn Down the Heat and Wear A Sweater Day” and Litterless Lunch Days are just a few things the Green Team have done to make its school eco-friendly.
“It’s just about getting them involved,” says Chelsea McOrmond, a New Minas Elementary French teacher, resource teacher, and leader of the Green Team for the past five years. “Then, encouraging them to take it home and in the community.”
New Minas Elementary is one of 222 schools to join Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Green School’s Movement. The Green Team takes on several initiatives, such as tree planting and leading school-wide trash clean-ups, something Grade 5 student Brooke O’Brien is passionate about.
“A lot of trash is around the place now, especially since Walmart is across the street,” says O’Brien. “The bags float into our area and it just looks gross when you have a bunch of garbage all over the place.”
Ella McComiskey-McFadden, a Grade 5 student and Green Team veteran, believes recycling is another important part
“If we don’t recycle stuff, it will all get put in the garbage,” says McComiskey-McFadden. “There are so many spots on the earth that have a whole bunch of garbage, and so if we keep building that, it’s going to get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and in a few years it could take over a whole island or something.”
Every class at New Minas Elementary makes a pledge, promising to fulfill green initiatives. They can be seen on big green paper footprints hung around the school. Additionally, two students sort the cafeteria recycling every day, and two more act as “Green Spies,” making sure every class is doing their part. Each month, one class is given an award for being the most green.
“I think it’s all about early intervention,” says McOrmond. “If they’re passionate at a young age, then they’re already developing those good habits.”
McOrmond says that the students “understand we have one earth, and we need to protect that earth.”
For now, though, they’re just excited to grow their own spaghetti vegetables.
What is Green Schools Nova Scotia?
Green Schools Nova Scotia encourages students and teachers to waste less and protect the environment through the creation of Green Teams, presentations, class projects and activities. As an Efficiency Nova Scotia program, it focuses on energy efficiency and how it can help students and schools meet their climate change goals.
Find out more at www.greenschoolsns.ca