EcoSchools Newsletter September 2017

Stay connected--follow us on twitter and share your great environmental initiative s with us!  @EcoSchoolsTDSB
Welcome Back!
Registration is now open!

All schools, new and returning, must register each year to apply for EcoSchools
certification.  Register your school now! I t is quick and painless! 
All you need is a contact name, role, TDSB Outlook address, and a password that's easy for other team members to remember.

To register (from a TDSB networked computer): Visit the registration page of the online program. 

If you are trying to access the online application from home, please visit our Register/Apply webpage and follow the detailed instructions.

Applying for Platinum Certification? 

Two important deadlines

Schools eligible to apply for platinum certification must register your school by Monday, October 30th and have your interim online application completed and submitted by Wednesday, November 15th.

New this year! Upon registration all schools are now automatically opted into the eportfolio feature of the online Certification Application to help reduce paper usage.

Questions: Contact Wendy Abbot

EcoSchools Kick-off PD sessions begin October 3rd
EcoSchools Section 1: Question 1.1, Section 6: Question 6.3

The annual kick-offs are a great opportunity for our team to meet with school teams to provide updates on program changes, share best practices, and to learn how EcoSchools is progressing at your school. It's also a chance for you to share ideas and initiatives with your colleagues from other schools.

This year's kick-off sessions are very interactive, with lots of opportunities to network and come away with ideas you can use at your school. Don't miss out on this opportunity to build your EcoSchools community. 

The EcoSchools Kick-offs are 1/2 day morning sessions for both elementary and secondary staff held in each Ward and will run from October 3rd until November 3 rd.

Not sure if you are on our contact list? 
Please contact Wendy Abbot at
or 647-224-4382. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Torontonians failing at sorting garbage from recycling costing the city millions of dollars each year*

EcoSchools Section 3: Questions 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15 & 3.16

Toronto Banner

Managing our waste

Each year, the City of Toronto manages almost 1,000,000 tonnes of waste (this includes Blue Bin, Green Bin and garbage) even with efforts to reduce, reuse  and  recycle. While this sounds like a staggering amount of waste, the City's  Long Term Waste Strategy  passed in June of 2016, estimates based on current population growth, that by 2050 the City could be managing over 1.5 million tonnes of garbage annually which is not sustainable. With this in mind, The Long Term Waste Strategy has adopted the 5R's Hierarchy to "Reduce, ReUse, Recycle, Recover, Residual disposal." In doing so it makes a commitment to minimizing wasted resources, through an investment in programs targeting waste reduction and reuse, and an aspirational goal of working towards Zero Waste. The strategy also recommends placing an emphasis on residents of the City to "do the right thing" by reducing the amount of waste they generate and ensuring participation in already existing programs.  

Why does proper sorting matter?

Last year an estimated 45,000 tonnes of garbage was mistakenly put into the recycling. When you put the wrong items such as food waste, containers with food, clothing and textiles, black plastic bags and packaging, and disposable coffee cups in the recycling bin it can ruin otherwise good recyclable materials. This means your recycling could end up in landfill. Last year, the City launched a new campaign to remind residents to "recycle right". 
This campaign demonstrates the need for continued education in proper waste sorting habits, and for all of us to keep paying attention as the City continues to expand what can be recycled. 

The importance of a waste audit

EcoTeams who have conducted an EcoSchools waste audit have found that they are able to identify areas for concern and conduct targeted campaigns to help their school community improve their sorting practices. Not sure where an item goes? Check the City of Toronto Waste Wizard at

EcoSchools waste sorting posters

To help schools put waste, recycling, and organics in the right place we have colour waste sorting posters to order. Use these posters to help sort waste in classrooms; hallways; cafeterias; common areas; staff rooms and daycares. Posters can be ordered individually or in sets of three using our online order form. These posters are also available in French!

NEW! Schools can now order a limited number of B ad Things Happen when the Wrong Items and Recycling get Together posters to help remind your community to "Recycle Right"!
Available through our EcoSchools online order form

*Source:  Toronto Star article, May, 30th 2017.
Toner Bottle and Ink Cartridge Recycling Tools
EcoSchools Section 3: Question 3.8 

Schools and centres can recycle empty toner and ink cartridges to minimize their waste following these three different process:

Ricoh Canada collects and recycles the toner bottles used in their photocopiers as part of its contract with the TDSB. To support this process, Ricoh Canada provides TDSB schools and centres with toner boxes for collection of the empty toner bottles. Review the Photocopier Toner Bottle Recycling tool for detailed instructions on how to properly recycle Ricoh toner bottles.

RISO ink cartridges are now being picked up by the technicians. To make arrangements for the pick-up of the empty RISO cartridges review the Duplicator Ink Recycling Cartridge tool and contact Debbie at Bryte Com at  905-726-1557.

PRINTERSPLUS only collects and recycles sorted laser, ink jet, fax, and ribbon printer cartridges, see the Empty Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycling tool for detailed instructions.

Questions: Contact Jenn Vetter

Marker Recycling Program
EcoSchools Section 3: Questions 3.5

Through Crayola's ColorCycle program schools can recycle any brand of markers, highlighters, and white board markers for FREE! 

Follow the detailed instructions outlined in our new Marker Recycling Tool to find out how register your school, set-up a collection station, and return your used markers to Crayola.
EcoSchools Section 3, Question 3.7; Section 5, Question 5.4, Section 6, Questions 6.5 

Recycle textiles and fundraise for your school!

In North America over 80% of textile waste is still disposed of in landfill yet it is almost 100%  recyclable. Bag2School is a TDSB approved free fundraising program that recycles unwanted textiles and supports schools Eco-goals by diverting textile waste from landfill and helps to educate students about the importance of reuse and recycling.  

TDSB schools are encouraged to run multiple clothing drives throughout the school year as a way to support the City of Toronto's  efforts to remove unnecessary textiles from the waste stream. In addition to helping the environment your school will earn valuable fundraising dollars for your EcoClub or school.

Contact Bag2School today to learn how you can book your schools 2017-2018 campaigns! 

The program is completely free to run and Bag2School will help you organize and advertise your event. 

To book a fundraiser or for more information contact Bag2School at 416-762-9415 

Fashion Takes Action

EcoSchools Section 3, Question 3.7; Section 5, Question 5.4, Section 6, Questions 6.5 

Interactive activities that elicit discussion around labour rights, consumerism and environmental degradation.

Fashion Takes Action  is on a mission to divert as much textile waste from landfill as possible, and they'd like TDSB Eco Schools to help them do it! If you are a grade 4 to 12 teacher, and you'd like to learn more about the Fashion Impacts Challenge, here's a summary:
By being part of the Fashion Impacts Challenge, your school will get:
  • ONE full-day My Clothes, My World workshop at your school that brings sustainability and social justice alive through the life cycle of fashion (50% - 75% discount)
  • ONE half day Environmental Leadership & Event Design workshop hosted at your school for students and teachers (Free!). This will help your team organize a really amazing follow up Fashion Impacts Challenge event (e.g., a community swap, or a multi-classroom repurposing activity)
  • The top 5 textile waste diverting schools will be entered into a draw to win $1000 towards their environmental or social justice initiatives!
Please visit and tell us how your school will move our city closer to zero waste fashion! Together we can make a really big impact! 

Applications close Friday, October 13th, 2017 at midnight. 

Waste Reduction Week: October 16th - 22nd
EcoSchools Section 3: Question 3.7; Section 6: Question 6.5

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national environmental campaign that builds awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourages choice for more environmentally responsible products/services, and promotes actions that divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources.

New for 2017, each day during Waste Reduction Week will have its own theme. Participants have the option to support areas that are most important to them or learn about a new issue. Learn how to get involved by downloading the 2017 Waste Reduction Week in Canada Program Guide.

Environmental Education AQ Course: Part 2
EcoSchools Section 5: Questions 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7

Need ideas for your EcoTeam? Want to connect with others dedicated to environmental learning?

Take your learning of environmental education to the next level with this part 2 AQ course. Collaborate with other teachers to explore the connections between system-thinking, eco-justice, and eco-identity in relation to urban environmental education. 
A combination of lectures, workshops, outdoor and experiential learning, field trips, guest speakers and online learning will be used to further develop your knowledge, skills and expertise in program planning and assessment in relation to environmentally-based teaching and learning. 

This course offers maximum flexibility for participants' learning needs through a blended course format (in-class and on-line hours). 

Location: U of T, St. George campus
Class schedule:
September 28th - December 14th
56 hours in-class learning: Thursdays from 5:15 - 9:15 pm, Saturday Field trips: October 14th and November 4th )
44 hours of online learning 
25 hours assignments and independent study  
Deadline to Register: September, 20th

Contact to ensure a spot on the TDSB subsidy list.

FREE! OISE / UofT Environmental and Sustainability Education's Speaker Series
EcoSchools Sections 5: Questions 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7 and 6: Question 6.5

TDSB educators are invited to participate in OISE / UofT Environmental and Sustainability Education's Speaker Series. Be inspired by a wide range of topics and expertise broadening your knowledge of environmental and ecological literacy. Participating TDSB educators and OISE teacher candidates will have opportunities to deepen their EcoSchools network as well as meet and learn beside other passionate practitioners. 
Events are free, however, please register on Key to Learn for each session.

Contact: Pam Miller at for more information.

Fall 2017 Events

Connecting Gardening to Indigenous Education
Speaker: Isaac Crosby, Evergreen
Date: Monday, September 18th 
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm
Location: OISE Library, 252 Bloor St. W.
Seed Saving Workshop
Speaker: Olivia Orton, Garden Coordinator
Date: Thursday, September 28th 
Time: 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Location: OISE Library, 252 Bloor St. W.

Food Literacy: A Recipe for Change!
Speaker: Nicolas Peña Parra, FoodShare
Date: Wednesday, October 4th
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm 
Location: OISE Library, 252 Bloor St. W.
Exploring the Impacts of Fashion's Global Supply Chain
Speaker: Sarah Peel, Fashion Takes Action
Date: Wednesday, October 11th
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm 
Location: OISE Library, 252 Bloor St. W.

Toronto Zoo Field Trip
Speaker: Zoo staff
Date: Saturday, Oct 14th
Time: 10:30 am- 12:30 pm 
Location: Meet at the Zoo (2000 Meadowvale Road)
Growing Approaches to Environmental Art
Speaker: Hilary Inwood, OISE
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Time: 4.30-5:30 pm
Location: OISE Library, 252 Bloor St. W.

Costa Rica 2018: Exploring Environmental Science and Sustainability

EcoSchools Section 5: Questions 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6
Experiential Education for TDSB secondary students

Join other teachers and students of the TDSB in Costa Rica in March of 2018. In partnership with EF Education, EcoSchools has created a program tha t will empower youth to become environmental citizens through hands on learning oppo rtunit ies in Costa Rica. The 10 day program will provide students and educators the opportunity to do be involved in on-going research at La Selva Biological Reserve, participate in workshops on sustainable agriculture and bio-diversity at E.A.R.T.H University and visit the Kids Saving the Rainforest Sanctuary.
We know that students who participate in educational travel develop the necessary 21st century skills to become effective communicators, reflective thinkers, lifelong learners and responsible global citizens. We are excited about this unique program in Costa Rica that is just for our EcoSchools students and teachers.
For more information  or to get involved please contact Pam Miller (  or Brian Waller (

You can also visit the EF Educational Tours website  to view the program details.