Hamilton, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta, now boast the greenest schools in Canada, with results from the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) second annual Greenest School in Canada competition.
Since 2014, the competition aims to promote rural and urban kindergarten to Grade 12 schools across the country that unite sustainability measures with infrastructure, culture and curriculum. Green building industry experts base their criteria on a school’s reduced environmental impact and efficient use of resources, improved health and learning among students and staff and emphasis on conservation and sustainability education.
Some of St. Marguerite’s sustainable initiatives include a 90 per cent reduction in waste through the implementation of major recycling and composting programs, and plastic water bottle ban, Health EcoFairs that promote local environmental leaders, and a reduction in energy consumption, partly through the use of student monitors called ‘Busters,’ where students walk around the school and search for unnecessary energy use.
Among its many sustainable features, Queen Elizabeth High School launched a key educational component, called INNOVATE, which is a hands-on project-based program that bridges different curriculums, connects to the greater community, and provides research and experimental opportunities to students who are focused on solving real world problems of sustainable development.
Both schools receive $2,000 in prize money to use for a green activity and will be the official Canadian entries into the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenest School on Earth competition, awarded annually by the Center for Green Schools.
Photo courtesy of St. Marguerite d’Youville Elementary School in Hamilton, Ontario.