This week, the E-team celebrated Earth Week and encouraged students to participate in eco-friendly activities to help SMUS and the Earth stay green. Mr. Craig Farish and the E-team planned a variety of activities for each day of the week.
On Monday, both Middle and Senior School students collected trash cans from classrooms and offices and sorted the waste into the appropriate receptacles to demonstrate how much of the waste is actually garbage and how much can be recycled, composted or reused.
Tuesday was officially Earth Day, and students and staff completed an online sustainability survey for a chance to win prizes. During their lunch they were able to watch the amazing Discovery Channel/BBC series titled Planet Earth.
In support of the sustainability initiative, everyone was encouraged to walk, bike, take the bus or carpool to campus on Wednesday. SMUS transportation also offered free bus rides.
Thursday was Food and Water Day. The E-team put on a water consumption demonstration to show students and staff how much water they use when they have a shower, flush the toilet, and wash dishes. Students were asked to consider what they eat, where it comes from and the costs involved. Brown Hall provided students and staff with meals that included as much local and organic food as possible. There was also a local and organic bake sale at lunch.
On Friday SMUS turned off the lights as part of Lights Out Canada, a project started by a local high school student a few years ago. The idea was to challenge schools and individuals to turn off the lights and their computers for an entire day and use as little electricity as possible. Friday also marked the beginning of the 30-hour Famine, an international youth movement to fight hunger. Since environmental sustainability is necessary for economic sustainability, Earth Week and the 30-hour Famine are a natural pairing.
Both Middle and Junior School students were encouraged to bring garbage-free lunches all week and the class with the least amount of waste and the end of the week won a prize.
Garbage Sort Results: (% of the total volume sorted)
- 40% soft plastic (plastic bags, Ziplocs, Styrofoam, chip bags, wrappers)
- 20% paper (paper towel, office paper, paper cups)
- 20% organic waste (banana peels, wet or dirty paper towel, bits of lunches)
- 5% hard plastic and metal
- 5% returnable items (pop cans, pop bottles, juice boxes)
- 5% mystery items (items that aren’t garbage (clothing, lunch boxes) or items we weren’t sure about)
- 5% contaminated items (mixed items that can’t be separated into recyclable bits)