Under a new agreement between the Vancouver School Board and Fresh Roots Urban Farms, a non-profit society that promotes urban agriculture, Vancouver Technical School will be creating a 1,000 square meter garden on the school’s property in September. The Van Tech garden is expected to not only provide a valuable learning opportunity for students, but yield READ MORE
BC secondary students are sharpening their palettes, culinary skills and appreciation for local, seasonal, and nutritious food in a program called Take a Bite of BC . The program delivers donations from 42 local B.C. farms, food producers and industry associations twice a month to participating schools. Currently 37 schools are participating. According to cofounder, Lindsay Babineau, “Each of the READ MORE
BC school boards have succeeded in recapturing funds previously levied on them and distributed to the private sector. Carbon offset fees charged to boards by the Pacific Carbon Trust will now be deposited with the Ministry of Education’s Energy Efficient Capital Account for the exclusive use by boards for energy-efficiency projects. This should amount to READ MORE
A Vancouver organization, Fresh Roots is working with schools to develop “market gardens.” The gardens provide food to the cafeteria and to culinary programs, but are also used as a learning tool in curriculum. Known benefits of school-based food programs include, a decrease in bullying and vandalism, improved nutrition and academic scores, greater community connections READ MORE
All BC public institutions are legislated to be carbon neutral. To achieve this they have no choice but to purchase carbon offsets. Those offsets must be purchased from the Pacific Carbon Trust , a crown corporation that charges much more than any other offset company. Pacific Carbon Trust purchases offsets from industry and then sells them to public READ MORE
BC’s Farm to School program is having a transformative effect on student participants. The program provides students with locally grown food served at the school cafeteria, and some classroom time dedicated to learning about local food and nutrition. At participant schools students are enthusiastically lining up at the salad bar and are showing a genuine READ MORE
The belief that adding more traditional playgrounds will encourage activity amongst children has proven to be a false assumption. A study that used GPS (Global Positioning System) to examine the link between environment and activity levels amongst children has shown that traditional playgrounds do little to promote activity. The large metal structures are often intimidating READ MORE
New research is showing that BC’s shift towards green schools may be producing healthier, more productive, and more environmentally aware students. Canadian and American studies have shown that the improved natural light, air quality and acoustics required in green buildings help meet the educational and health needs of children and teachers far better than traditional READ MORE
As part of an overall environmental stweardship objective, the school district of Richmond BC is currently working towards energy sustainability with the following goals in mind: Reduction of energy consumption Sourcing energy from clean renewable sources and Reducing the environmental impact of energy consumption. Read more here .
Shirly Bond, BC’s minister of education has just announced a new environmental school initiative. Individual students or groups of students are being offered prize money if they can design and implement school-based brojects that benefit the environment. The Government has so far commited $160,000 to the Green Games .The prizes are available to grades k-12 and are READ MORE
Many rural school districts across the U.S. are considering switching to a 4-day week mainly to save on transportation costs. 100 schools in 16 states have already made the switch. One school district reports saving $65,000 on transportation alone. Other districts report better student performance and improved school attendance. Read an article about the switch over .
The Idle Free BC website contains information and resources for any school district, municipality or fleet interested in implementing an idling reduction program. Check out the resources section for example by-laws, school programs and promotional material. Click here to go to the Idle Free BC website.
The American Archictectural Foundation’s Great Schools by Design initiative promotes innovation in school design to improve the overall quality of schools in the US. Click here to read more.
Want to go idle-free? Natural Resources Canada and Better Environmentally Sound Transportation have each produced resource websites to assist in your anti-idling actions. Click here for more from Natural Resources Canada.