Solar Photovoltaic Energy
At is opening in 2017, the Arnold Massey '55 Athletic Centre became home to TCS’s first renewable energy project: a 48kW AC solar array comprised of 192 photovoltaic panels. This array was capable of generating 2% of our annual campus electricity needs and lowering our carbon footprint by 11.5 tonnes C02e. This was the equivalent of taking two cars off the road or planting two acres of trees. The solar panel project has continued to expand and is currently 166kW, producing as much as 12% of campus energy.
This Visual Arts Wing was designed with sustainability in mind. The building envelope is insulated well beyond minimum code requirements. There are substantial windows to allow for natural lighting and occupancy sensors to reduce electricity consumption. Most interestingly, there is a living wall including a rain water harvester for watering the plants and a storage system to provide other grey water usage.
The TCS kitchen is a leader in environmentally sustainable practices. Depending on the time of year, between 45% to 55% of the food consumed in Osler Hall comes directly from local farms. This includes nearly 100% of the meat, cheese and honey.
Even closer, the kitchen is a proud supporter of the student gardening programs in both the Junior and Senior Schools. Tomatoes, onions, apples, carrots, corn, potatoes, squash, melons, pumpkins and herbs are started from seed by students and grown through to harvest right here on campus before being delivered up to the kitchen. These practices support the local community, allow the TCS community to eat healthier food and reduce the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions related to putting food on our tables.
After the culinary services team creates its wonderful meals, it also supports a local farm by providing pre-consumer food scraps for their animals.
TCS is working to decrease our waste footprint and increase our diversion of products away from landfills. Annual audits show that the School produces approximately 490 lbs of waste, which is a decrease of 10% from five years ago. We are currently diverting approximately 50% of our waste through the local recycling program and organic “recycling” at a local farm. The goal is to increase this to 60% diversion; that goal will become closer to realization in 2019 as a county-wide municipal composting program is implemented.
Electronic waste is collected by the IT services department and re-used or recycled through various companies.
Students and staff are coached on how to sort their waste correctly throughout an annual Recycling Challenge and by providing recycle coaches at the waste stations at large events. To reduce food waste and loss of dishes from Osler Hall, the environmental club runs NoP3 (No Porcelain Past this Point) and BYOC (bring your own container).
Tree Replacement Policy
TCS is blessed with over 100 acres of beautiful campus and hundreds of mature trees. To value this natural heritage and do our part for climate change, we have a tree replacement matrix that ensures that any tree lost on campus is replaced at more than a 1:1 ratio based on its age. For example, a tree of over 50 years old will be replaced with five suitable native trees. Tree-planting occurs every fall with students planting hundreds of trees over the last several years at annual Big Tree Plant event.
In order to restore a landfill area on the south part of campus, Grade 7 students researched, planned and created a meadow ecosystem using native wildflower and grass seeds. This area will provide habitat for pollinators while ensuring a non-forest ecosystem is allowed to flourish under the hydro lines.
The TCS campus is host to a small population of Chimney Swifts, a tiny boomerang-shaped bird, which roosts in several of our chimneys during summer months and forages on insects over the buildings. To ensure their protection, these chimneys are being carefully restored to remain open and accessible to the birds with specially designed canopy structures to keep out rain.
Idle Free Zones
TCS promotes shutting off engines while waiting on campus driveways. The Municipality of Port Hope has an “anti-idling” bylaw in effect with fines for idling over three minutes. Research shows that idling longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more C02 than shutting off the engine. It is a myth that it is bad for the engine to shut off and then start again.