Next Gen Green
Friday, June 24, 2011
You know those little plaques you can get with your baby's footprints? Or the paintings that kindergarten kids do with handprints that get slapped on the fridge until you realize that the hands aren't quite so small anymore? What about those shadow portraits of their profile in silhouette? All great keepsakes that parents treasure forever – or at least until you realize that you're overcome with keepsakes and start recycling. As parents, we love seeing the imprints of their little lives and how they grow.
My youngest son Carter (and forgotten middle child as he likes to call himself) graduated from Grade 8 last night. He is moving on from the school he has attended since the age of four when he entered Junior Kindergarten. Yes, I have the footprints, the handprints and the silhouette, but this kid did one better.
For at least the past five years, Carter said he would be Prime Minister of his school. He is pretty goal oriented this one, and sure enough, ran for "office" last fall and successfully became the big man on student's council. As he was writing his speech, I told him to think about what he would like to accomplish in the year and work backwards from there.
He said he wanted the school to be more environmentally friendly, and it became one of his platforms in his campaign. He wanted to "green" the school.
He investigated a program called Ontario ecoSchools (http://www.ontarioecoschools.org/) found a willing teacher to help him take on the task, formed the committee and took it from there.
On Wednesday, June 29th (appropriately my birthday) he will be accepting the "Silver" designation from Ontario ecoSchools. His school is the first elementary school in our district to reach this level in a first attempt. Last night at graduation, he was presented the Environment Award for initiating and successfully achieving this designation.
Proud? Um, yeah. Incredibly so. Have my green views rubbed off on my kids? I think I'd like to take a little credit but I will hold on to his handprints and let him enjoy his incredible accomplishment of reducing a school community's footprint.