It’s that time of year again – the air is a little bit cooler, the leaves are just starting to change, and kids across the country have headed back to the classroom.
And while math and history and science make up much of the classroom discussion, I am particularly excited by the partnerships and collaborations Carton Council Canada (CCC) has underway with local and national school environmental initiatives.
In October, I have been invited to speak to local educators about carton recycling and waste audits, as part of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) EcoSchool program kick-off meetings. EcoSchools (part of the Sustainability Office at TDSB) is a long-standing school greening program focused both on environmental education and action, with an opportunity for participating schools to become certified.
This year, the theme of the workshops is Climate Action: Empowering Students to be Agents of Change and I am excited to be part of this timely and dynamic conversation. Schools are a critical element of any recycling awareness strategy, so this is a tremendous opportunity to support and help inform these efforts.
CCC also has an established partnership with EcoSchools Canada (previously Ontario EcoSchools), who works to empower all members of school communities with “the knowledge, skills, and desire to act as environmentally responsible citizens”.
Similar to TDSB’s program, EcoSchools Canada certifies schools who have demonstrated achievements in environmental learning and action. The collaboration will involve broadening EcoSchools Canada’s waste audit template tool to include milk carton and drink boxes categories, as well as collecting relevant data about carton recycling in schools, including identifying barriers to carton recycling and identifying potential solutions.
Last but not least, CCC is pleased to work with Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) to provide curriculum-based lesson plans focused on carton recycling for Grades 1-3 and 5-6. These lessons use math, science, and language arts to help students learn how they can have a positive impact on the environment.
It’s a tremendous start to the school year and we look forward to continuing to work on projects like these, helping build carton recycling ambassadors across the country.