Anderdon Public’s eco-team receives platinum status

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Anderdon Public School’s eco-team has traditionally done well but now they’ve topped themselves.

The school has now achieved platinum status through Ontario Eco-Schools, up from the gold status the Middle Side Road elementary school achieved last year. Anderdon Public won gold from its eco-team’s inception in 2008-09 through 2011-12, dropped to silver in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and reclaimed gold the last two years but decided to go even higher this year and it worked.

“It’s the first time we applied for platinum,” said teacher Jodi Nolin, who leads the eco-team.

Nolin said they had to do a yearly plan to map out the whole year.

“For every initiative we did, we had to provide documentation,” said Nolin.

Energy conservation initiatives included “lights out lunches” and reducing the use of electricity where possible with the school also changing to more energy efficient hand dryers in the washrooms this summer. Waste management projects included banning plastic water bottles and replacing them with reusable bottles, recycling markers among the other materials the school recycles and greening the school yard.

“A big part of greening is maintenance,” said Nolin, adding a butterfly garden or a native species garden is in the works.

The curriculum included environmentally-themed components with that including various different subjects. Field trips were held to teach about biodiversity, said Nolin, with the Grade 8 students also doing a major water project.

Anderdon also practiced environmental stewardship as Nolin pointed out they worked to send 4,000 books to a library in Zambia, Africa and participated in a milk bag drive in conjunction with a Harrow church.

“It helps to keep items out of the landfill,” she said.

Anderdon Public School’s eco-team helped the local public elementary school earn platinum status from Ontario Eco-Schools. It is the first time Anderdon has achieved the designation.

Anderdon Public School’s eco-team helped the local public elementary school earn platinum status from Ontario Eco-Schools. It is the first time Anderdon has achieved the designation.

The school also held a “boomerang lunch” program where items that were garbage were sent home with the students to encourage less waste. Nolin said buying in bulk instead of single-serving can help cut down on garbage. Other initiatives included a “sweater day” in the winter where students were encouraged to wear sweaters while the heat was turned down.

The students were pleased with their efforts.

“Everyone really committed to it,” said Jaymz Bailey. “We’re leaving a lighter footprint.”

“I feel really good,” said Makenna Chekansky about the platinum status with Sophia Aspila adding “this is amazing. I am so happy. We’ve done a lot of stuff to get this.”

“We put in a lot of effort to make the future better,” said Danica McGorman with Athena Lazanja also noting the school put in a lot of time.

Recycling and garbage programs helped, the students added, with Larry Stainer adding they have to improve in terms of not mixing up what recyclables go in what box.

“I think my class has done pretty good,” added Jack Prieur. “We’ve done way better than at the beginning of the year.”

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