Students at Trillium Demonstration School have taken the planet to heart — incorporating environmental initiatives into everything they do.
“We only have one planet, so we need to minimize garbage to try to preserve it,” said a Trillium student.
The Go Green Team is extremely active at the school. They conducted two “eco audits” of the school to determine whether Blue Boxes and GreenCarts were being used correctly, and if lights and computer monitors were being turned off when not in use. “We do environmental PA announcements as well,” stated another student.
“We’re very proud of the hard work Trillium’s Go Green Team is doing,” explained Ms. Jeans, a Trillium School staff member. “We are the first school in the Provincial Schools Branch to be certified as an Ontario EcoSchool, and have been certified at the silver level for the past three years.”
Trillium Demonstration School is located on a campus in the heart of Milton. Operated by the Provincial Schools Branch, a branch within the Ontario Ministry of Education, Trillium Demonstration School offers a variety of services to meet the educational and social/emotional needs of students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“Ontario’s curriculum provides so many opportunities for environmental education,” stated Principal Ms. Smith. “The students in the Go Green Team are gaining valuable leadership and team-building skills, while learning about how they can better protect the environment.”
The most recent success of the Go Green Team was removing all the large garbage cans in the classrooms, and replacing them with mini-garbage cans.
“At first, people wondered, how can we use this — they’re so small,” exclaimed yet another student. “The mini-garbage cans really make students realize what they are throwing out.”
The students indicated the mini-garbage cans have made them think differently about waste. “If you have a big garbage can, you throw more away,” said a student.
Some of the other waste diversion programs Trillium Demonstration School has implemented included a program to promote paper re-use. “We have GOOS (good on one side) baskets in all the classrooms to collect re-usable paper,” said a student.
“We are cutting squares out of old t-shirts to be sewn into a quilt,” exclaimed a student. The goal is to donate the completed quilt to Allendale, a local long-term care facility for seniors.
Another student indicated that they were making things out of recycling products and may try to make a robot using metal cans and plastic bottles.
The next major project for the Go Green Team is to create an outdoor classroom incorporating shade trees, and other native species plants.
The students agreed that everyone needs to do their part and work together to make a big difference.