EcoSchools Newsletter | Volume 7 Issue 2 | February 2015
Mark your calendars with important application deadlines, environmental PD opportunities, upcoming eco-actions and competitions, the youth ClimateCon conference, and more! 

Stay connected--follow us on twitter and share your great environmental initiatives with us
Change to recycling practice for toner and ink cartridges
The Computer Media Group is no longer picking up empty Ricoh toner bottles and Riso ink cartridges for recycling. They will now only pick up sorted laser, ink jet, fax, and ribbon printer cartridges. Refer to the Empty Toner and Ink Recycling Cartridges tool for more detailed instructions.

Ricoh Canada collects and recycles the toner bottles used in their photocopiers as part of its contract with the TDSB. For detailed instructions please review the Photocopier Toner Bottle Recycling tool.

Please continue to collect and store your RISO ink cartridges until we have a new system in place.

Questions? Contact 
Apply today! Free bike racks and water bottle refill stations for your school
Bike Rack Program: Increase sustainable transportation at your school with new bike racks installed free of charge! All schools are eligible to apply, but will have to demonstrate need and evidence of prior efforts to promote sustainable transportation. Complete the  application in word or  pdf form and email to
Questions: Contact Kristen Evers

Get ideas on how to build a program at your school that supports active, safe, and sustainable transportation among students and staff. From targeted communications to bike rodeos, there are many ways in which you can promote sustainable transportation within your school and community.

Project Refill: Reduce waste and encourage drinking tap water by having a water bottle refill station installed free of charge! All schools can apply, but must be able to show a prior commitment to reducing plastic water bottle use in their school as  well as plans for future reductions or educational campaigns. Complete the application in word or  pdf form and email to
Questions: Contact Erin Wood

This resource provides ideas on how you can create awareness within your school and implement teaching/learning components that will help to educate students about water bottle waste.

Application deadlines:
Friday, February 20th--Bike Rack Program
Friday, February 27th--Project Refill

Environmental AQ Course

Want to expand your knowledge and practice of environmental education? OISE has partnered with the TDSB to offer Additional Qualification courses in environmental education this summer. To support EcoSchools teachers, the TDSB will subsidize $400 of the cost for 50 TDSB teachers who register and successfully complete the course!  This interdisciplinary AQ course will take an inquiry-based, experiential approach for elementary and secondary teachers, using both in-class and on-line learning.  Parts 1 and 2 are being offered at the 

U of T, St. George campus (8 days in class July 6th - 17th, 2015, no Friday classes; online done by July 23rd, 2015.)  


To register, contact to ensure a spot on the TDSB subsidy list; 

formal registration at OISE will begin April 13th.
Wear a sweater to warm up and raise awareness for climate change!
Heating is the main form of residential energy use in Canada--especially in the winter time--and is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  WWF is working to educate the public about the importance of conserving energy. One of the ways your school can help promote energy conservation is to participate in WWF National Sweater Day on February 5th; wear your favourite sweater to keep yourself warm and to spread awareness about climate change! Make sure to check out WWF's blog for great ideas on how to celebrate.
TDSB Earth Hour: Friday March 27th 2-3pm

Has Earth Hour fatigue set in?  We hope not. The global campaign called Earth Hour+--is encouraging us to do more.

TDSB EcoSchools have done a wonderful job in past years of using Earth Hour to raise awareness about the link between climate change and the unthinking use of resources. It remains a great opportunity for students of all ages to participate in communicating about and implementing simple conservation actions before, during, and after Earth Hour. Download the TDSB Earth Hour checklist.

See the global Earth Hour site for resources and the official Earth Hour video.

Foodshare's Great Big Crunch is Thursday March 12th, 2:30pm
Big crunch

Crunch time is coming right across Canada!! Have your school or classroom join Foodshare's eighth annual Great Big Crunch and enhance your students' understanding of our food system while having fun at the same time! For that feeling of instant connection, tweet your crunch at 2:30 EST! #greatbigcrunch 


Use this event as a way to inspire classroom discussions about food and the many issues surrounding how and what we eat. Ask questions such as where does our food come from? What's in our food? 

The 2015 Activity Guide includes classroom activities for elementary math, literacy, and science as well as recipes.


Register here.

EcoSpark's Nature Academy opens April 2015

Nature Academy is a professional development and coaching program that provides teachers with the knowledge, field skills, and follow-up support needed to integrate outdoor and experiential education into everyday lessons. One- and two-day workshops will: show you what you can do with nearby nature, tailor ideas to your school, support STEM education and Science, Technology, Society, and Environment (STSE) expectations and help your school excel in the EcoSchools program. For information about upcoming workshops, visit our temporary website. Release time is covered for TDSB teachers on a first-come, first-served basis!


When: Workshops run April-September, 2015

Where: TDSB schools and other sites across Toronto

Registration: Opens on February 9th at

Questions? Contact Kendal Gerard at

Free PD: EcoSource's Sustainability Education

Between March and May Ecosource will be hosting three FREE 2-day teacher professional development modules focused on pertinent environmental themes and filled with hands-on learning. Each module will include tool kits, resources, lesson plans, and an opportunity to connect with like-minded educators from across the region.


Sessions include:

  1. Module 1:  Food systems and successful gardening for the curriculum
    March 7th and 28th (10am - 3pm)
  2. Module 2:  Composting, waste, and the whole school approach
    April 11th and 25th (10am - 3pm)
  3. Module 3: Healthy ecosystems and stewardship in school communities
    May 16th and 30th (10am - 3pm)
For more information and to register: email or call 905-274-6666
Toronto Envirothon: Opportunity for secondary science

Registration is now open for the Toronto Envirothon an interactive environmental education program, offered in English and French, for youth from grades 9 to 12.

This hands-on environmental competition invites secondary students to compete in groups of 5, to learn about forestry, aquatics, soils, wildlife and an annual environmental topic. Local conservation organizations partner to provide students with interactive field trips and workshops to help them understand the human impact on all of the things we value in nature.  Envirothon uses field testing to develop critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. Winning teams advance to the provincial competition and then provincial winners represent Ontario at the North American competition.

March 24, 2015 - Urban Forest Workshop @ University of Toronto Campus
April 7th - Toronto Envirothon Workshop @ Downsview Park
April 15th - Toronto Envirothon Competition @ Ontario Science Centre

For more information visit the Ontario Envirothon website.
Climate conference for secondary students: Wednesday April 1st

ClimateCon 2015 is a TDSB-wide event for secondary students that provides a variety of workshops related to climate change. The event, inspired by the Bloor Collegiate Climate Change Conference, has been expanded to give a more integrative treatment of climate change from a variety of perspectives--social, scientific, economic, technological--in a way that is engaging and galvanizes our youth. 


When: April 1st, 2015

Where: MaRS Discovery District

Registration: Contact


Visit their Facebook page and Twitter page for details regarding the conference.

Greenest School in Canada Competition!








Canada Green Building Council's 2015 Greenest School in Canada competition has officially opened. The competition is now in its second year and is looking to highlight kindergarten to Grade 12 schools across the country that exemplify environmental sustainability. $2,000 in prize money will be awarded to Canada's greenest school. They are accepting submissions now until June 1st, 2015.  Visit their website to learn more about how to apply!

Register for upcoming Green Teacher webinars

"Invasive Species: Towards a Deeper Understanding"

Thurs, Feb. 12th, 2015

7:30-8:30 p.m. EST

Presenter: Lisa Zinn and Jonathon Schramm

"Citizen Science Tackles Invasive Species"

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2015

7:30-8:30 p.m. EST

Presenters: Christine Voyer and Jeff Chandler 

"Popping the Bubble Wrap for Child Health"

Tues, Mar. 10th, 2015

7:30-8:30 p.m. EST

Presenters: Mariana Brussoni

"Invasive Species Learning Options"

Tues, Mar. 24th, 2015

7:30-8:30 p.m. EST

Presenter: Sue Staniforth

Register for the webinars here