Sustainable Schools

Date: 2007 – 2009
Curriculum Links: Social Studies 8 – 11, Social Justice 12, Planning 10, Science 8-10, Biology 11
Project Funders: Vancity, Vancouver Foundation, Hamber Foundation, Chris Spencer Foundation

Working closely with the Vancouver School Board and elementary and secondary schools across Vancouver, the Sustainable Schools project gathered together young people and their allies in a spirit of hope and collaboration to take coordinated action on local environmental issues. The project organized forums, facilitated visioning sessions, developed specific environmental action plans with school champions, supported these actions, created an Action Guide, and connected interested youth and their allies to broader environmental justice networks. The project had five key focus areas:

  1. Air quality and transportation;
  2. Wildlife preservation and habitat restoration;
  3. Renewable energy;
  4. Wastershed, wetland and marine ecosystem restoration;
  5. Climate change

The vision for the Sustainable Schools project was to connect localized sustainability efforts, increase the sustainability of participant schools and reduce waste and energy output, put youth power and learning at the center of the process and focus on the connections between environmental, economic and social justice. Projects initiated through Sustainable Schools include composting and recycling programs, organic gardening projects, green roofs and more. Many of the initiatives that were created and launched through Sustainable Schools live on in schools across the Lower Mainland.