Grade 9 class pledges to do “more good” for the environment

On Thursday, February 13th, the entire Grade 9 class at Trinity College School took part in a sustainability workshop on the theme of “Humans and Our Stuff.” As TCS continues to build our “green” culture, the workshop brought together students and teachers to examine and pledge actions on the complex systems connected to the many items we all use, particularly disposable items.

Students and teachers worked together as co-learners using their combined 21st century learning skills: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. There was much discussion as groups built system maps, and identified feedback loops and leverage points for items such as chai lattes, frosted flakes, take-out coffee and more. Many groups expressed surprise at the extent of the inputs and outputs in the stuff systems for items that are frequently only used for a matter of minutes.

The culminating task in the workshop was to make a pledge to do “MOGO” (more good) to decrease the negative effects of our stuff systems. Many participants identified actions such as switching from disposables to reusables or reducing their consumption level. Some groups dug deep into the root causes of the negative effects and proposed changes to production systems, materials use, transportation systems and more. We’ve got a lot of deep thinkers in the Grade 9 class. These systems thinking skills are a step towards a more sustainable future.

- By Alison Elliott, TCS environmental coordinator