MUSKOKA, ON-The Trillium Lakelands District School Board is taking steps to go green by establishing a climate change action plan. 

In September of 2019, the G7 Student Senate representatives from each of the seven secondary schools in the TLDSB met to brainstorm and discuss ideas for the coming school year. Inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg and Anishinaabe activist Autumn Peltier, the G7 decided to help the TLDSB tackle climate change. 

Throughout the year, the G7 researched climate change and environmental solutions. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, they met virtually to bing their action plan to life. 

Consulting with the board’s senior administrative team, the G7 presented their plan to the Board of Trustees on June 9th.  

The action plan consists of 10 phases of equal importance, ranging from mental health and student advocacy to carbon-conscious transportation. 

The phases are broken down into Education and Commitment, which will ensure climate talks in the curriculum.

Mental Health and Student Advocacy, which will ask for student input on climate action, promote environmental student leadership and ensure indigenous inclusion.   

Technology Considerations, which will feature digital learning, proper device care and storage and integrate student technology. 

Waste Management, which will employ specialty waste disposals, composting programs and recycling rethinking. 

Energy Connections will look at conscientious heating and cooling, water waste and renewable and alternative energy.  

Food Resilience will employ plastic-free cafeterias, easting and buying local and have a reusable mug and water bottle program. 

Resource Management will look into phasing out single-use plastics, repurposing furniture and equipment and biodegradable and environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies. 

Carbon-Conscious Transportation will encourage the use of public transportation, walking or biking, carpooling, reducing idling, and look at hybrid school buses and biofuels. 

Creation of Eco-spaces will look at community gardens, planting native species and promote outdoor learning.

The last phase will be the Evaluation, which will consist of student consultations, board-wide climate change action plan review, an eco award, and a commitment to future action.  

“The climate is changing, and so are we,” said Student Trustee Kaylee. “This means that as stewards, commitment must be made at TLDSB to ensure that our future is sustainable for all schools and students.”

The TLDSB said the intention for the action plan is to be an ongoing working document that provides actions for schools and the school board that is implemented, reviewed and revised annually.