Staying Green in Pubnico!Back to stories
École Pubnico-Ouest was the very first CSAP school to request an energy engagement after I joined the Green Schools NS team, and it was the very first school I visited on the French shore. On November 22nd, 2016, I arrived a bit early in Pubnico and decided to explore the small fishing village before my school visit. After talking to some very friendly locals and reading some signs near the fisherman’s wharf, I learned that “Pubnico,” comes from the Mi’kmaq word “Pogomkook,” meaning “a place where in winter one can go and fish eels in the harbour by cutting holes in the ice”. It seems that the French settlers changed the name to “Pobombcoup”, which in turn was shortened to “Pombcoup”, and again to “Pubnico” with the arrival of English settlers.
Upon my arrival at École Pubnico-Ouest, I took pictures and watched the students zooming by on a zip line looking over the ocean. What an impressive view and an impressive schoolyard! I was happy to comply with the ‘’no idling zone’’ sign that states that they are a Green School!
During the engagement, students discovered energy by learning about their own vital energy by moving their arms around like a windmill. These students learned that a good breakfast in the morning will help power their own machine: their bodies. We discussed how to differentiate renewable from non-renewable energy sources and students were surprised to hear that in Nova Scotia, 60% of electricity is generated by burning a non-renewable source: coal! They were definitively not impressed by this fact! Students proudly acknowledged that the Pubnico Point Wind Farm can help the environment because it is a source of renewable energy. According to the information panel next to the wind farm, 100 000 000 kWh of energy is produced there annually, and that supplies the energy for about 12 000 homes, displaces 90 000 tons of CO2, the equivalent to keeping 16 000 cars off the road each year! Every student wanted to share something about wind power or the wind farm. To read more about the Pubnico Point Wind Energy Center and how a wind turbine works, click here!
The greenest energy is energy efficiency! The less energy we consume, the smaller our environmental impact. Students took turns using the energy meter to measure consumption in different electrical devices around the classroom; they also learned to be more energy efficient by using LED lights at home and on their Christmas trees. For more ideas for having a green holiday, check out our Support Packages: Gift of Time, Green Holidays, Upcycling and Green Gifts and our Pinterest board called Green Winter Holidays.
This year I had the chance to virtually visit Mme. Lisette and Mme. Diane and their grade four students at École Pubnico-Ouest. They were surprised how easy it was; all it takes to have a virtual visit is a computer with a webcam, microphone, and speakers. When you connect to a projector, we can all visit each other! It was great to do a brainstorming session about green initiatives and engage with students while reducing the Green Schools program’s carbon footprint!
As a follow-up to the day’s events, students went home with a Home Energy Checklist to show their parents what can be done to waste less energy and save money at home. The students were excited to tell their parents how to waste less energy with free efficient product installations from Efficiency Nova Scotia. There are so many ways we can reduce our ecological footprint, and we can start today!
Thank you for all your green work, École Pubnico-Ouest! Can’t wait to come back for another visit!
~ Marlène Le Bel,