The Seven Oaks sustainable living committee was proud to present the 5th annual Unite to Change conference; “Veggin out in the Country!” , on Thursday, October 4th, 2012. This year’s conference was held at Providence College in Otterburne, Manitoba. We engaged participants in activities focused on the environment, culture, social/economic factors and health and well being. Students and staff had the opportunity to hear guest speakers from Providence College speak about their sustainability related initiatives. These included a focus they have on conserving energy, using energy alternatives like wood waste in a bio mass furnace and using geo thermal for heating and cooling. Providence is also experimenting with wind power, has done window upgrades in their older buildings and is the second most energy efficient campus in Canada. They also run fitness programs, cultural awareness programs and have developed a major community gardening project.
The conference at a glance: It was the first(surprisingly) snowy day of the year when three buses made their way out of the city after enjoying a snack and meet n greet at the school board office hosted by the trustees and superintendents. The day’s activities at Providence college involved speakers, a fun activity where school teams created a horn of plenty collage committing to sustainability related projects on paper fruits and vegetables. Participants enjoyed a healthy lunch and heard about composting food waste. Each school team was given a new brochure entitled, 7 OAKS WASTE REDUCTION, COMPOSTING AND RECYCLING. The conference concluded with tours of the college and bio mass heat generating system. Participants enjoyed this day of learning about new places, spaces and what is involved in taking care of our homes away from home like school. The planning committee thanks the division for its ongoing support of Unite to Change conferences. After five years there is a growing awareness around sustainable living in all of our schools and the surrounding community. All staff and students are welcome to join the planning committee. Parents interested in joining the committee can contact the school division for more information.
Seven Oaks recently launched a new divisional composting program with the purchase of a giant BIOVATOR composting system that will break down all kinds of foods and produce compost for gardens within a 2-4 week period. The biovator is housed at the maintenance department and food waste is picked up from schools on a weekly basis. The division also implemented a mixed waste recycling program that serves all schools.