The students and staff at ESK (Mi’kmaq Immersion School) were faced with a tricky situation this year. They wanted to start composting their food waste, but their community of Eskasoni has yet to have curbside pick up. That, however, didn’t stop this little school from doing their part. The teachers decided to start their own composting program to teach students to be good stewards of the land. One teacher found a large bin they could use to put their compost in. The first time they introduced it, the teacher stood at the bin during lunch hour and showed students what could go in the bin and what couldn’t. Another teacher volunteers every few days to drive the compost down the road to a man who composts the food along with his own scraps in a large composting bin in his backyard.
The teachers at ESK didn’t stop there though. They wanted to focus not only on composting food waste, but reducing it in the first place. They teach students that if they have something on their plate that they haven’t touched, they can offer it to a friend who wants it. Extra fruit and snacks that the younger students don’t eat at the cafeteria can be left for the older students who have bigger appetites. They have found that students have taken on a great deal of responsibility for reducing food waste at their school as a result of this program.
~ Shandel Brown