SD8 Goes Green

Kootenay Lake School District is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Our school communities and district are making and maintaining changes to positively impact our environment. Together, we are "going green!"

Carbon Neutral Action Reports

Kootenay Lake Schools' Go Green Initiatives

Adam Robertson Elementary
  • Climate Chasers Club meets each Monday during Lunch recess.  The club is coming up with ideas and initiatives to present to staff, PAC, and the students for ways that our school can “go green” and make positive impacts on our environment.
Blewett Elementary
  • More notebooks – less paper
  • Dishes used and washed for hot lunch
  • Recycle juice boxes/cans/bottles
  • Recycle bins in every room – recycled paper is used again
  • Mail outs reduced to minimal
  • Encourage parents and staff to use reusable containers
  • Composting
  • Water Bottles
Brent Kennedy Elementary
  • Environmental Stewardship is a goal in our school strategic plan 
  • Piggieposts (Each classroom is collecting food waste in compost buckets. The compost buckets are collected by a Brent Kennedy family that is raising pigs with the food waste).
  • Plastic free hot lunch - plates & bowls
  • Two Grade 5 / 6 classes are Participating in Wildsights Beyond Recycling Program.
  • Refundables are collected. (Juice boxes, etc.)
  • Paper and plastic (with recycle symbols) are collected for recycling.
  • Collecting dried out markers to be recycled at Cowan’s.
  • Products Life Cycle and Impacts Projects -Grade 5/6
  • Is Garbage a Problem at BK? - Data Management Project
  • Winter Concert - Carnival of Life - Songs About The Environment
  • Paperless Newsletters/Information Bulletins home to parents by email.
  • Paperless meeting agendas, staff handbooks, and parent handbook.
Canyon-Lister Elementary
  • Litterless lunches
  • Recycling and compost collection in all classrooms and offices
  • Halloween candy wrapper recycling (from candy at home)
  • Be the Change- student group that takes positive action in a variety of ways, including promoting environmental change
  • Be the Change climate change clean-up “march”- cleaning the main street of garbage
  • Students made and sold beeswax reusable food wrappers at farmers market
  • Few single-use items provided at school meal events- all parents bring their own dishes for their family, and we provide a rinse basin so they can do a quick clean before taking their dishes home again.
  • School garden and forest with trails for outdoor learning
  • Reusing second-hand clothing in our “Triple R” clothing share program.
  • Native plants project- learning about traditional uses of plants that grow locally, and planting them in our forest with signs in both English and Ktunaxa.
  • Re-wilding projects- building bird and bat houses and putting them up in our school forest.
  • Autumn leaves collection bin for families to donate leaves for us to use.
  • Bottle drives/recycling
  • Battery/marker/pen/juice box recycling
Crawford Bay Elementary - Secondary
  • Marker/pen/pencil recycling box to be sent to Cowan’s office
  • Compost program
  • Paper towel recycling bins in each classroom and washroom - for the school compost
  • Recycle program for: glass, paper, cardboard
  • Two CBESS gardens: herbs, flowers, fruits and veggies grown on site to be consumed by students, staff and community members - maintained by the students and a teacher
  • Rainwater collection buckets
  • Student-crafted environmental awareness posters displayed in the hallway
  • Harvest share program participants - where students pick local fruit trees
  • Local metal and woodworking businesses donate old copper and word for our ADST/Art programs
  • Multitude of indoor plants line the school hallway and foyer
  • Paperless assignments with increased use of G-Suite
  • Potential worm bin project - spearheaded by the senior class
Creston Valley Secondary School
  • Cold, filtered water bottle refill station
  • Paperless reporting through MyEd Room 109 recycling/bottle return program
  • Erich drives a Tesla!
  • Extensive use of Google Classroom platform
  • Staff Share Drive
Erickson Elementary
  • Water filtration water fountain in the school
  • Compostable items going to garden/wetland area
  • Students initiated year clean up crew (picture of sign they made and appeared for the first time without any staff knowing it was happening has been submitted)
  • Grade 3-4 recycling program for juice boxes
  • Wetland area being developed for learning about the environment and caring for it.
  • Learning gardening in our garden boxes
Hume Elementary
  • Earth club for K-5 for students who want to help the earth.  Tuesdays at lunch in room 306
  • PAC purchased three water bottle filtration/ water fountains.  Two are installed with one more to go.  The current one says we’ve saved the equivalent of 54,000 water bottles since installation.
  • PAC eliminated juice boxes as an option for hot lunch.
  • PAC purchased reusable snack bags for the Welcome to Kindergarten event gift bags and purchased reusable library book bags for each Kindergarten student with the intention to do this annually so that eventually the whole student population will have a reusable library book bag.  We used a local seamstress to support this project. 
  • Recycling program supported by the grade 5 class who did presentations and posters about what we can/cannot recycle. The program is called “Beyond Recycling” and is free for classrooms.
  • “Dead Pen” collection in the office.  Did you know Staples takes your used pens and will recycle them?
  • The SD8 Operations department has given permission for the PAC to purchase three trees for the playground area.
  • And finally a big thank you because our new windows are making a difference to the temperature and sound in the building.
JVHumphries & Jewett

JV Humphries

  • School Green Team
  • New Position of Special Responsibility - ‘Greening JVH’ Facilitators’ This position is intended for two teachers to work collaboratively as leaders in our school and community in guiding and supporting students. Tasks include
    • Facilitate a team approach to environmental sustainability that includes our students, families, staff, and community
    • Develop with a team of students specific projects and structures that reduce JVH’s environmental footprint
    • Commit to seeing projects through during the 2019-20 school year
    • Connect with other schools to learn more about what is happening to become more green across our district, region, province, etc.
  • Lunch program through Foods class bring your own dishes
  • Secondary Outdoor Adventures class & elementary outdoor days to promote love of being active outdoors and developing leadership
  • Markers collection for recycling
  • Growing food at community garden.


  • Nature-inspired inquiry learning through the Fine Arts programming
  • Growing food, collecting & selling mulch, composting
LVRogers Secondary
  • Climate Action Team at LVR composed of staff and students
  • Have participated in both Climate Strikes at City Hall in Nelson
  • Have established a vision for our work; Sustainable Living for 7 Generations. All projects and initiatives are guided by that vision.
  • Our mission is Advocacy, Activism and Action.  Advocating for change through letter writing, conversation, creating awareness.  Being activists through such events as the Climate Strike.   A commitment to Action because this is what gives people hope they can make a difference. Change will be the accumulation of small pieces over time, changing hearts and minds
  • Project; bring LVR rooftop solar panels online. Requires voltage inverters, some tech help, maintenance and operations. When these come online they will generate enough power to run our entire tech lab.
  • Project; work with the cafeteria staff to decrease trash, increase healthy food options, decrease red meat and replace with sustainable food sources.
  • 75% of Canadian’s energy use is to heat buildings and for private vehicles. We need to go after these two things to make the biggest impact on climate change.
  • Project; decrease the ambient temperature of LVR classrooms to ~19C. This may mean sweaters in the winter. Change will require people to become uncomfortable
  • Project; encourage changes in transportation including buses, electric vehicles, walking, carpool and the like.
Mt. Sentinel
  • Green Team composed of staff and students Gr. 7-12 in place for last 7 years
  • Hosted a One Day Climate Conference at school bring in numerous “experts” from the field to speak & host workshops
  • Green Team’s banner sent to Paris Climate Conference, retweeted by Margaret Atwood and liked by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna
  • Have participated in both Climate Strikes at City Hall in Nelson
  • Have 3 thriving Bee Hives and 20+ student beekeepers & we produce approx. 200lbs of Honey a year that is rendered and sold locally
  • 3 Bottle refill stations & 3 Hand dryers
  • Local garden beds & composting system in place for school
  • Plastic free hot lunch utensils, plates & bowls
  • Google classroom allowing for digital submission/marking of assignments
  • Participation in ONA Fish in Schools - 2020 Columbia Program
Redfish Elementary
  • Student led Environment Lunch Club - right now focused on reducing single use wrappers and containers
  • Grade 4,5,6 class creating a composting system using the Bokashi Composting method
  • Our intermediate students are working with permaculturists to design our new garden space, with one area for each class to develop and maintain each year.  We will have a garden bed for bees and insects, one for local medicinal plants, one for eating spring plants, one for fall plants and one for growing to give to a food bank
  • One class is making a bug zoo with specialized habitats for different insects to overwinter in.
  • We raise bees and kokanee fry to better connect our children to our local environment so they know more about why we need to act carefully and sustainably.
  • One class has worked with Kokanee Park to help rehabilitate an area disturbed in making a new large group area by enriching the soil and planting native species
  • We are getting a water filtration system installed
  • Our hot lunch programme only uses reusable dishes and cutlery
  • We are emailing permission forms and notices rather than using paper, as much as possible
  • We have eliminated a paper newsletter and update families through digital means
  • Our classes spend an afternoon outside in the forest most weeks to learn in our environment and in our outdoor classroom
  • One of our classes goes to our local community garden, which provides food to families who ask for it, for 4 weeks in the fall to harvest and put the beds to rest, and in the spring to plant and weed.  Each week they are treated to a talk on how to grow a different vegetable by a master gardener.
Rosemont Elementary
  • Regular school yard clean-ups
  • Compostable plates for hot lunch pizza day
  • Cups and spoons supplied for soup day (no waste!)
  • Very little paper sent home, no newsletters, lots of digital communication
  • Comprehensive recycling program in the school
  • Community garden in use with each class participating
  • Raising kokanee fry in our fish tank
  • Students gifted re-usable snack bags from school-wide activity
  • Regular visits to our community forest, some stewardship activities there
Salmo Elementary
  • Newsletters, announcements, permissions sent home via email
  • Recycling program, students regularly collect from classrooms
  • Many visits to the old-growth forest and stewardship lessons
  • Community garden
  • Raising and releasing Kokanee fry
  • Collection and use of natural objects for indigenous art activities
  • Planned installation of water refilling station
  • Honey bee habitat
Salmo Secondary
  • Use of Google classroom for most classes
  • Reduction/elimination of dishes used in cafeteria program
  • When used, disposable dishes are recyclable
  • Sustainable living explorations class
  • Community garden
  • Many visits to the old growth forest and stewardship lessons
  • Local, place based learning
  • Refundables collected, sorted and returned by students
South Nelson Elementary
  • Students bring their own plates and utensils for our Lunch Program Monday-Thursday
  • We just started recycling markers as part of Cowan Office Supply  program
  • Grade 4/5 student volunteers collect the paper recycling from each class  once a week and take out to the recycling bin
  • Worm composting in several classes
  • Students and staff bring a reusable water bottle to school each day
  • We have had a litterless lunch during Earth Day week
  • Gr. 2/3 does a “garbology: the study of our trash” unit.
  • Our Grade 4/5 classes have participated in the Beyond Recycling Program through Wild Voices for Kids
  • We study the ocean health curriculum created last year by the fed gov’t ( grade 2/3 science curriculum)
  • Invite speakers such as David White (Bear Aware) to put wildlife considerations front and centre.
  • Our new slope garden has been planted with Native Plants.  Our K-5 Garden Club has met once a week to learn about the plants and help take care of the garden. Starting in January, Garden Club Coordinators will do a gardening activity once a month in a class.
  • The biggest attempt is by getting outside for learning. Appreciating our great outdoors and the responsibility that comes with caring for it underpins all other initiatives. Building empathy for the forest.
  • Create a climate parachute (last year and this year).
  • Support climate action by walking to witness to the student protests. Community activism in action.
Trafalgar Middle School
  • Trafalgar Catering is doing the hot lunch program and students are bringing their own dishes and utensils to reduce waste
  • We are recycling up a storm
  • Students are monitoring the photocopying amounts their teachers use
  • We have moved to using Google Classroom for a lot of class work
  • Digital permission forms for the most part
  • Digital newsletters and parent contact
  • We have a Green Thunder group which is becoming a LLE course focused on creating sustainable choices and changes within the building.

    Students in Green Thunder have researched the effects of palm oil harvesting on the environment and have written a letter requesting the removal of products containing palm oil from our vending machines. They are continuing to look at replacement items!

  • Another student initiative has been a pen recycling campaign to cut down on waste. 

  • Classes are focused on understanding climate change and carbon footprints, and are making choices to improve the conditions (reducing waste, walking and biking)
  • Classes are heading outdoors to learn more about the environment
  • There will be a school garden in the spring
WEGraham Elementary - Secondary
  • We planted 4 maples near our playground area as a climate change action. We are planning to use permaculture techniques around the base of the trees to create a bee friendly garden to help support the school beehive. The trees were donated by Four Seasons Greenhouse in Winlaw
  • Following last year’s garbage inventory in the school we are working to reduce our garbage production by 20% by the end of the winter term. We now have Garbage Free Wednesdays where students bring garbage free snacks and lunches.
  • We encourage all students to bring reusable water bottles.
  • We have a school wide composting program and are hoping to use the compost in the Spring to grow plant starts.
  • We are hosting our first plant swap in the community and will be putting plants in every classroom to improve air quality and create calm spaces.
  • All of our classes have an outdoor program that encourages the students to develop an understanding of, and respect for, the natural world.
  • We have a WEG Green Team with multi-age students working to create positive change in the school around climate change issues.
  • We have a school wide recycling program.
  • We have a beehive onsite which we feed and help maintain and is also used as a teaching tool for students.
  • We will be putting up bird feeders this winter to help the winter birds. This can also be used to collect data on local bird populations.
  • Additional tree plantings are planned for the Spring, we will be planting more trees in the playground and possibly joining with the community to do a communitywide tree planting.
  • We have a school garden that is planted and maintained by the K-2 class.
  • The Green Team are still coming up with more projects.
  • The students in the Valhalla Wilderness Program build and maintain multiple bike trails and our grade 7-8 teacher runs a biking club. We encourage our students to walk and bike whenever possible.
  • Low impact camping techniques taught in Grade 7-10 out trips.
  • The K-2 class completed a unit on Bees, including the life cycle, plants for bees, types of hives and honey extraction. The K-2 class is now working on Bears.
  • We have an outdoor classroom which is used frequently by the K-6 classes.
  • The Circle of Courage is used throughout WE Graham.
Wildflower Creston
  • Large push within the students and with parents around reducing waste related to lunches - bags, plastic, packaging etc…
  • Last year the K-7 classes made beeswax reusable food wrappers to help support waste reduction related to lunches.
  • Recycling and composting done in each of the classrooms.
  • Many trips out to local farms to learn about producing food locally.
  • Students made and sold beeswax reusable food wrappers at farmers market
  • Regular bottle drives throughout the year.
  • Gr. 2-6 classroom - use of google chrome books and google classroom.  Students share work, gain teacher/peer feedback in a way that reduces utilization of paper.
  • Staff effort to walk or bike to work.
  • Thematic work around the four seasons and place based and outdoor learning.
Wildflower Nelson
  • Observation bee hive located in the Seedlings classroom.  This project is now 4 years in.  Wildflower School was the first school in the District to take on a navigate having a observation hive in our K/1 classroom.  This involved an application to city council and the students speaking at a city council meeting. Lots of cross-class learning about the bees lifecycle, role in the environment, and importance as pollinators.
  • Students bring cutlery and plates from home for the hot lunch program offered Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Recycling of pop bottles, juice boxes located in each classroom.
  • Paper recycling located in each classroom.
  • Each classroom has a rotating student in charge of composting - composting bins located in each classroom.
  • Compost from each classroom delivered to the “3-bin” compost system located in the schools garden.  One classroom responsible for the maintenance and turning over of the compost throughout the year.
  • School Garden located at the south-west side of the property.  Each classroom within the school has a designated bed, which they prep seasonally while learning about local production, gardening, permaculture etc.
  • Each classroom has a PAC parent responsible for helping to coordinate maintenance and learning around the garden.
  • Several classrooms throughout the years have had thematic projects relating to natural resources, alternative energies, and social action projects.
  • Halloween candy not allowed coming back to the school - aligns with philosophy around healthy eating and reduction of waste.
  • Few single-use items provided at school meal events- all parents bring their own dishes for their family, and we provide a rinse basin so they can do a quick clean before taking their dishes home again.
  • Native plants medicine wheel garden - located in the center of the Wildflower garden area.  Teaching and learning related to medicinal plants.
  • Gr. 2-6 leadership classes - harvested local fruit trees locally - to reduce wildlife/human interactions (bear).  Fruit then dried - supplied to local food cup-board and provided to hungry kids within school.
  • Middle School - use of google chrome books and google classroom.  Students share work, gain teacher/peer feedback in a way that reduces utilization of paper.
  • Staff utilization of google drive - meeting notes, agendas etc… to reduce consumption of paper.
  • Staff efforts to walk or bike to work.
Winlaw Elementary
  • Recently completed the build of a timber frame outdoor classroom.
  • Winlaw WILD- every Monday, on a rotating schedule, one of classes goes on an outdoor education field trip - planned by teacher Linda Out and focused on current issues - currently focused on Water
  • Have completed a no plastics in lunches initiatives where every student was given a reusable lunch bag. Prizes were given to students who brought in plastic free lunches
  • Winlaw school garden was planted, maintained and harvested by students
  • Winlaw School Green Team - student group who is currently working on recycling at the school and composting
District Departments


  • Financial reports and information posted online to reduce printed copies
  • School receipts accessible electronically. Printed copies not required
  • Using Drop Box as a department to share documents rather than printing


Human Resource Services

  • Continue to provide effective HUman Resources Services
  • To introduce some technological improvements in the Human Resources
  • Training to leaders on various HR/LR matters
  • No paper for HR team meetings
  • E-Bike purchase program for the coming spring


Inclusive Education

  • Use of computer program for online picture resources - site license for District and every school
  • Commitment to put student files at District office onto online Laserfiche program
  • Commitment to start using MyEdBC IEP module for September 2020
  • Commitment to end use of large single-use plastic laminator in the department
  • Commitment to use more online forms and resources
  • Use of online agendas and notes for Inclusive Ed staff meetings
  • Use of Zoom for Inclusive Ed meetings where possible
  • Efforts to carpool
  • Efforts to meet virtually with staffs and parents for consultations
  • Staff walking to work /walking to various meetings where possible


Innovative Learning Services

  • Commitment to Virtual Professional Learning opportunities
  • Use of Zoom meetings throughout the School District and beyond
  • Beginning conversations on Ebike purchase/payment plan for SD8 employees
  • Digital resources on ILS website (in progress)
  • Carpooling (when working at various school sites across the district)
  • Paperless department meetings (agendas)
  • ProD events – paperless flyers and registration
  • Use of Zoom (virtual) for many meetings
  • Utilizing Google documents for shared information and documents



  • No paper agendas for staff meetings
  • Utilizing Google documents for shared information, documents and forms
  • Documents completed and saved as digital documents
  • Providing water bottles to all International students for use instead of single use water bottles


Operations & Transportation

  • Use of Zoom for meetings
  • Carpooling whenever possible for crews working at various sites
  • Online student bussing registration
  • Lights out when not in rooms
  • Reduce/eliminate engine idling
  • Sourcing Green technologies for school buses and white fleet



  • Implementation of print and copy monitoring throughout the district to provide visibility to usage to the district and schools
  • Centralization and upgrade of server infrastructure to reduce energy usage
  • Use of video conferencing for team meetings to reduce emissions from travel
  • Electronic recycling and donation of older computing equipment