Greenwood had made an ongoing commitment to sustainability and stewardship as a part of our new five-year strategic plan, Venture Further Together
. Many initiatives spearheaded by our Environmental Committee
play a major role in achieving Greenwood’s goals in that area. Cassandra Della Mora, Coordinator, Green Initiatives and mathematics teacher, speaks about the various ways we are integrating environmental stewardship across all facets of the Greenwood experience.
Cassandra is the staff supervisor of the Environmental Committee, which was founded five years ago. Since then, the Committee has run many activities to promote more environmentally friendly actions to the Greenwood community. “As a committee, we do a lot of things,” says Cassandra. “For example, we set up a table for Meatless Mondays, Trashless Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays to track the student and staff participation for House points.”
Many new ideas for promoting more sustainable practices at Greenwood come directly from the students as well. Through student suggestions, Greenwood has now implemented TerraCycle
, a program that collects and recycles snack wrappers, and the CASE Box
program, which collects the black takeout containers that are not recyclable by Toronto’s municipal system to be cleaned and reused or recycled. Other ways Greenwood is becoming more sustainable is through water bottle refill stations, planting a bee-friendly garden with native plants, and installing dual-flush toilets and water-saving urinals.
Cassandra is also busy preparing Greenwood’s EcoSchools Canada certification
with support from other teachers and the Environmental Committee. While many of Greenwood’s current initiatives qualify us for certification with EcoSchools, there are many auditing details to report on each individual activity. “The Environmental Committee members do a lot to help fill out EcoSchools’ questions about each activity’s marketing, outreach and impact,” says Cassandra.
A major component of the EcoSchools certification also looks into environmental literacy, which examines how much of the lesson plans taught across various subjects incorporate environmental stewardship. “I think eventually environmental stewardship will become more integrated in the same way that diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging have become over the past few years,” Cassandra optimistically notes.
Cassandra certainly hopes to bring additional sustainable actions and stewardship to Greenwood in the future in a more integrated fashion. “Based on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, we can see how sustainability and DEI are connected,” says Cassandra. “I believe in five years’ time, we can definitely become platinum certified with EcoSchool and, ideally, work together with facilities, staff, DEI and OE to create a comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability.”