Going Beyond Recycling

Beyond Recycling is a Wildsight-run education program that takes students on a journey to explore their energy, waste, and consumption. Through 24 weeks, students go beyond the 3 Rs to really understand where our waste comes from, where it goes, and how we can make changes to lessen our impact on the planet.

Beyond Recycling doesn’t present problems, but encourages students to see solutions. For example, students at Nicholson Elementary cleaned up garbage along the Columbia River, did a waste inventory and sorted what could have gone to recycling. Over two outings, the Grade 4/5 class collected almost 60 kg of waste!

In Cranbrook’s TM Roberts Elementary, students drilled down on the eco-footprints of our Kootenay lifestyles, learning that if everyone in the world had the luxury and privilege of living like we do here, we would need between 2.8 and 5.1 planet Earths!

At Redfish Elementary, the class also investigated garbage, but they decided to study at the entire school’s waste! Custodians saved a whole day’s worth of garbage, and students looked at what could be pulled from the garbage or what simple changes could be made to reduce the school’s overall waste output.

Do you know what a solar updraft tower is? Students at Lady Grey School in Golden do, and they got to create their own versions during their Beyond Recycling program!

In Creston, students at Erikson Elementary imagined what communities might look like in 20 years if we use renewable energy, eat local, reduce our waste and protect our water. Read up on the creative solutions students found to our wasteful practices of today. 

At Kimberley Independent School, students used the knowledge learned from Beyond Recycling, and the powers of creativity, to design eco-communities, eco-friendly fashion, investigate energy sources and debate the merits of various sources, and even make their own paper from recycled materials!

At Valemount Elementary, worms were elevated from lowly pest to amazing composter with the study of vermicompost students then used to grow potatoes and marigolds!

It is amazing to see what students across the Columbia Basin explored and studied this year! We can’t wait to see what creative solutions these students implement as they grow into the leaders of tomorrow. 

We couldn’t do this program without our generous funders. Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust, the CSRD, NSERC, the Province of British Columbia, the RDCK, the RDFFG, TD Friends of the Environment, and all our individual donors who help make programs like this possible.