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Redcliff Middle School Environmental Exploratories

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Redcliff Middle School is learning how to go green! The school of almost 500 students recently joined the growing Green Schools Nova Scotia community in March of this year but they aren’t new to green initiatives.

Redcliff, a Grade 5-7 school located in Valley, just outside Truro, has hosted yard sales at the school to fundraise for school trips. A yard sale is a great way to not only raise money but also to ensure that items continue to be used instead of being thrown away.

Another green place in the school is the library, which is a busy place and is fully automated. This means saving the paper from the older library cards that had been placed in the back of books. The students can borrow and discover a variety of books and share these materials with friends and classmates instead of purchasing the book themselves, reading it once, and leaving it on a bookshelf, never to be enjoyed again. The school’s librarian, Ms Canning, does a great job at having a resourceful, innovative, and fun library for the students.

Before the 2017 Christmas break, Redcliff Middle School used Twitter to send a green message to Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Their tweet included a photo created by students on the Grade 7 Infinite Ninja Team, with their Christmas wish for clean air and water, and the message of, “We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas-and a Breath of Fresh Air!”

In the fall and in the spring, the lucky students at RMS take part in a variety of exploratories. The exploratories provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge on a topic they may have an interest in, including artistic, athletic, and recreational activities. This spring, the school invited Green Schools NS to partake in a new Environmental Exploratory. The exploratories are happening every Wednesday morning, from March 21st through April 18th.

Green Schools NS visited for the first day of these exploratories on March 21st. The group of ~20 students kicked off their environmental exploratories by learning about energy! The students got to test out devices with the school’s new energy meter and then calculate how much some of these would cost to use. No one imagined that incandescent light bulbs could cost over $400 to use in a year, vs LED bulbs which cost only ~$50/year! That’s a huge difference! Students learned how simple things, like using natural light when possible, turning out the lights when you leave a room, and unplugging appliances when not using them, can help us all save energy and money! Students also learned how here in NS, we are beginning to use more renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro, and solar. We still use a substantial amount of fossil fuel including coal to power our homes and schools. The best way to reduce the amount of coal being burned is by being energy efficient. By using energy the smart way, we can help reduce how much energy we use, to ensure a greener community for everyone.

The students were excited to learn how Efficiency Nova Scotia has programs to help Nova Scotians save energy, such as their Direct Installation Program, HomeWarming, Appliance Retirement and more! With so many available programs, there are many reasons to call Efficiency NS (1-877-999-6035) to see how they can help families save energy. Their Instant Savings Program begins in April and can be found at retailers throughout Nova Scotia.

With environmental exploratories continuing for five consecutive weeks, Green Schools NS reached out to some partners in the environmental education network to help book more environmental guests. Thanks to the partners being so helpful, the students will get to partake in workshops with the following organizations:

March 28th: Ducks Unlimited – The Necessity of Wetlands with Becky Parker

April 4th: Clean NS – Clean Energy School with Amanda Ring

April 11th: Shubenacadie Wildlife Park – Wild about Wildlife with Sue Penney

April 18th: Ecology Action Centre – Green Collar Careers with Dani Miller

Green Schools NS is so excited to be working with the amazing staff and students at Redcliff Middle School, and we wish everyone lots of fun with their green workshops over the coming weeks! Together, with the school, and these amazing partners and their workshops, there are so many ways we can waste less!

~Pamela Chandler,
Engagement Officer, Northern NS

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