Victoria, BC – An innovative farm-to-cafeteria project is one of the winners of the “My Green High School Plan” challenge promoting high school greening initiatives. The Capital Regional District (CRD), in partnership with BC Hydro and Community Social Planning Council, promoted a challenge promoting sustainable behaviour changes in secondary schools. Four teams from across the region are receiving grants ($250 - $1,500) to help put their “My Green High School Plans” into action. Plans include waste reduction and education, farm-to-cafeteria food security, building sustainable energy systems and alternative transportation.
The “My Green High School Plan” challenge supports the CRD’s Green365 project, which is comprised of four campaigns promoting sustainable behaviour changes in and around your home and asked high school students to propose ways to reduce their school’s eco-footprint, raise student awareness and change behaviour. “It’s inspiring to see how innovative and ambitious these plans are, as youth play a key role in shaping the future of our region,” said Nils Jensen, chair of the CRD’s Environmental Services Committee. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support these students in improving their schools’ sustainability.”
The school receiving the grand prize of $1,500 to implement its green school strategy is the Gulf Islands Secondary School. Judy Smith, Principal of Special Projects in School District 64, says “the students are very excited to put their plans into action. With the use of the funds, we will create a gardening learning centre to support the school's cafeteria, reduce our carbon footprint and educate students and the community about healthy living and eating, not only for ourselves but for the planet.”
Plans were reviewed by a panel of judges for innovation, creativity and originality, environmental stewardship, promotion and leadership, communication and the overall plan summary. Students have until April 1, 2014 to implement their plans.
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Green 365 “My Green High School Plan” Backgrounder
Plans were reviewed by a panel of judges for innovation, creativity and originality, environmental stewardship, promotion and leadership, communication and the overall plan summary.
Results 1st place Grant Funds - $1,500
School: Gulf Islands Secondary School
Plan: Farm to Cafeteria Project
- Build a compost/gardening learning centre for the school and community.
- Care and maintenance of the garden will be included into curriculum for all students.
- Food produced will support the school’s cafeteria, and lower the school’s carbon emissions.
- During the summer, high school students can apply to the entrepreneurial program tending and selling produce at the community market.
2nd place Grant Funds - $500
School: Oak Bay High School, Victoria, BC
Plan: Waste Management Improvement and Education Project
- Design and implement a game to increase recycling program participation, transition to more sustainable food containers in the cafeteria to improve organic waste diversion and coordinate eco-learning events for the school community.
Finalist Grant Funds - $250
School: Claremont High School, Victoria, BC
Plan: Renewable Energy System
- A multi-disciplinary project to build a human and solar powered “energy system” for school use, such as an environmental festival for youth, “Off the Grid”.
Finalist Grant Funds - $250
School: Reynolds Secondary School, Victoria, BC
- Build a prototype e-bike and create a “How To” guide for students. Showcase, promote and share the ride with students through a borrowing program that allows them to trial the mode of transportation.
Students have until April 1, 2014 to realize their plans.