Plan ahead: 3 October campaigns

Fall is an opportune time to harness back-to-school enthusiasm into planning an exciting campaign to kick-off your year.  Following last year, in each newsletter we’ll do a round-up of eco events and special environmental days that you can celebrate with your school the following month. Here are some top picks for October!

Walk/Roll/Ride to School: Month of October

October is International Walk to School Month. Whether students choose to walk, roll, ride, or carpool to school, active and sustainable transportation is a way to walk the talk and model excellent environmental behaviours.

Here are three handy resources to plan an active transportation event in October:

  • Consult our Active Transportation Campaign Kit for learning activities and campaign ideas suitable for all grade levels.
  • Active and Safe Routes to school has plenty of activities for different grade levels – all of which are linked to the Ontario curriculum. 
    • Promote your events using this poster.
    • Register your school’s event to receive a Certificate of Participation!
  • Worried about safety? Work with others in your neighbourhood to plan a Walking School Bus to make the journey to school safe and fun.
  • Start claiming points in your online application! Walk/roll/ride to school events can be claimed in Environmental Stewardship as long as the whole school is invited to participate.
  • Let us know what your school is doing to celebrate the month (and beyond) by sharing a photo on Twitter and tagging us @ON_EcoSchools.


Waste Reduction Week: October 16-22

How can you put the brakes on unnecessary waste? Held in the third week of October every year, Waste Reduction Week is a good chance to get your EcoSchools program up and running with a school-wide campaign around Waste Minimization. This is one area of the program in which students can set targets, make measurable change, and communicate results throughout the year.

Here are a few ideas to reduce waste:

  • Use the Theme Days from Waste Reduction Week Canada to plan a full week of events, from learning about the circular economy to focussing on food waste in the cafeteria.
  • Organize a Waste-Free Wednesday to challenge students to go #wastefree throughout the school day. Get inspired by one of our Climate Leadership Contest winners, St Paul CES (PVNCCDSB), who organized weekly litterless lunches and significantly reduced their landfill-bound waste.
  • Get your EcoTeam together to carry out a waste audit to assess how your school is doing and where you can improve. Watch our step-by-step video on how to do a waste audit.
  • Be sure to claim your whole-school Waste Minimization campaigns in either Waste Minimization (Q3.3) or Environmental Stewardship (Q6.1-6.4), if they go above and beyond the requirements under Waste Minimization.

We want to become Waste Wizards too! This year our team is challenging ourselves to go #wastefree during Waste Reduction Week. Follow our progress on Twitter (using #WasteReductionWeek) and be sure to share your own photos and tips so that we can learn from each other.



Ever heard of Phantom Power? What about Energy Vampires? Did you know that even energy-efficient appliances can still suck energy when they’re left plugged in? Stay tuned for a brand-new social media campaign in October illuminating spooky hidden energy use at home and at school.