The Path to Green
One major Green School goal is to change the way we think and behave as a community. We want to reflect “eco-sensitive” choices in all we do, from offering compostable coffee cups and fair-trade coffee through to purchasing and other operational decisions.
We believe our campus can be a classroom. We can educate each other, even when we don’t think we’re involved in the process of education. For example, we teach our students environmental systems in class. But we also teach in the dining halls and the boarding houses, in the washrooms and the boiler room, along our avenue, on our sports fields and the grounds.
Read on for examples of how UCC works with students, faculty and staff members, and parents to promote Green School practices daily.
How will you get involved in Green School activities?
Green Club: This after-school program for Year 4 and 5 focuses on encouraging student awareness and action. Past projects have included an idle-free campus campaign and learning about winter birds. The Green Club also plants and cares for the Prep learning garden.
Eco-Ambassadors: This program for Year 6 and 7 students develops leadership skills while encouraging responsible environmental practices in the classroom, such as correct recycling, use of vermi-composting, reuse of paper and minimizing waste. A pair of Eco-Ambassadors is assigned to track the progress of each classroom. Those who demonstrate environmental stewardship are recognized in assembly.
Green School Committee: This group organizes environmental activities that encourage students and faculty members to reduce UCC’s eco-footprint. For example, the committee runs the “Golden Broom” program, a weekly competition that inspires Upper School students to correctly use recycling bins, keep locker areas clean and maintain a green-minded attitude.
Solar Club: These students learn — from experts, the Internet, field trips and their peers — about renewable energy technologies. Current goals include building solar-powered cellphone chargers for the school, getting a solar-powered scoreboard for the new field, fundraising to put solar panels on the roof of the new arena and studying the feasibility of installing a demonstration wind turbine on campus.
Sustainability Steward: This position on the board of stewards allows senior students to demonstrate their leadership skills in this field, providing a voice for the student body on sustainable (environmental, social equity and economic) development issues affecting the College.
Other opportunities: Students may deepen their understanding and appreciation of environment and sustainability through programs such as Horizons and “Creativity, Action, Service.”
UCC expects all employees to contribute to goals such as reducing depletion and degradation of natural resources, and caring for our campuses.
The College helps to make this goal easily achievable with recycling centres at both schools, where people can drop off used cellphones, batteries and inkjet printer cartridges.
Staff can also meet to make recommendations for improvement, such as through bulk purchasing and delivery of office supplies, using e-communications rather than printing out inter-office mail, and specifying reusable and/or recyclable office materials.
In the long term, we hope our employees will realize that sustainability means adopting a new mindset. All our individual actions will combine to define the culture of our College, refashioning it for a sustainable future.