Students Go Beyond Recycling For The Future Of Our Planet

This school year, 13 classes from around the Columbia Basin joined Wildsight educators on a 24 week Beyond Recycling investigation into the impact of their lifestyles—energy, waste and consumption—to discover how their everyday actions affect the health of the planet and how they can be agents of positive change.

PHOTO: Students at Twin Rivers Elementary learn how energy resources are shared around the globe.

In Nelson, students from Hume School created nature “selfies” and played a balancing game of interdependence to celebrate our place in this wonderful world. “In Beyond Recycling we contemplate the complex connections between soil, water, air, sunshine and all living organisms, including us,” said Wildsight Educator Genna Lazier. “We consider how each organism plays an important role in the interconnected web of life.”

At Rosemont Elementary, teams prepared informed arguments and a fierce debate about which energy source was best at generating electricity took place. Over at Ecole des Sentiers-Alpins—the first French school to participate in Beyond Recycling, with lessons delivered entirely in French—students presented results from their research on the life cycle of various products.

Meanwhile in Castlegar, students from Kinnaird Elementary and Twin Rivers recently tackled big topics like the preciousness of water resources, our changing climate and measuring our ecological footprints. “While we did discuss the many impacts being experienced both locally and around the globe, we were sure to end each class on a hopeful note,” said Wildsight Educator Jenny Wallace. “The students were eager to brainstorm ways in which we can all help and we came up with a great list of positive eco-actions that we can all do at home, proving that our individual everyday actions can have a BIG impact!”

Wildsight’s Beyond Recycling program aims to equip students with the knowledge they need to make important decisions for our planet, and the process of recycling paper is just one of the many hands-on learning moments. “In Beyond Recycling, students spend 24 weeks looking critically at the ecological footprint of their homes, schools and communities,” said Dawn Deydey, Beyond Recycling Coordinator. “They discover how our lifestyles impact our world and how even our everyday choices play a part in global issues like climate change.”

With Earth Day just around the corner—April 22nd, to be exact—teaching our future generations about how best to keep the Earth protected for today and tomorrow couldn’t be more timely.

Wildsight gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Fortis BC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, BC Gaming Commission, Regional District of Central Kootenay, TD Friends of the Environment, and WC Kitchen Foundation for Beyond Recycling.