Havergal & Sustainability
At Havergal, we are striving to raise awareness about the significance of sustainability. This includes changing the way we think and operate in terms of the environment. Our focus is to continue to increase our knowledge and to develop actions for sustainability, particularly in the areas of energy, waste and water. Through creating awareness of the issues, and specific actions to address them, community members are encouraged to develop a greater appreciation of our natural world and to learn how to preserve it.
Here are a few examples that support our approach to sustainable practices associated with energy, waste and water consumption at Havergal:
- Student-led small-scale alternative energy project: A group of students in the Upper School are investigating an alternative energy source to offset some of the school’s current electricity resources.
- Energy-efficient lighting: When renovating spaces at the school, we replace light fixtures with energy efficient LED lighting whenever possible. Most recently, we included LED lights in the newly renovated Grade 10 bathroom and IT area.
- Anti-idling campaign: In accordance with the City of Toronto’s idling control by-law 775-2010, we remind drivers not to idle their cars by posting no-idling signs in pick-up and drop-off areas.
- Earth hour is not just once a year: Every day from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, the Junior School turns off its lights (wherever possible) to save energy and increase awareness about energy consumption. In the Upper School, we take advantage of the natural lighting in our classrooms (when possible).
- Bicycles at Havergal: To support the many cyclists of the community, we installed new bike racks to promote and encourage bicycling.
- Recycling: In addition to blue and green box recycling, we encourage students to repurpose and reuse materials for art and other projects. Last year, the Junior School Havergreen Girls implemented a Good On One Side (GOOS) scrap paper notebooks awareness campaign.
- Paper: We have reduced printing at the school significantly with the introduction to the PaperCut software program. The software tallies our printing costs, which reminds us to be more selective about printing documents.
- Reduction of carbon footprint: For the past few years, we have moved to electronic progress reports and other forms of electronic communications, including the Parent and Student Portals, the Back to School webpage and the Family Handbook. These initiatives have reduced the environmental impacts of printing and distribution.
- Electric hand dryers: We are gradually replacing paper towel dispensers in bathrooms with electric hand dryers to reduce the amount of paper waste produced.
- Composting: In the spring of 2012, Grade 12 student Samantha Bennett rallied to implement a composting program at Havergal. In the first five months of the program, we diverted six tons of waste from landfills.
- Battery Collection: Each year, we deliver enough batteries to the city’s toxic waste stations to fill a 20-gallon barrel, diverting 20 gallons of toxic waste from landfills. These batteries come from the homes of faculty, staff and students.
- Water Bottles: We have installed water filtration taps in offices and dining rooms and water bottle filling stations throughout the Upper School to encourage people to bring in their own refillable bottles to school.
- No drips: Junior School girls are reminded not to leave washroom taps running. We also installed touchless taps in the newly renovated Grade 10 bathroom so the faucets turn off automatically.
- The Junior School Water Challenge: Last year, Junior School students learned about water usage and how our choices impact our fresh water supply. Students Alex Rozenberg and Corie Shyba designed special shower rings to remind us to take shorter showers.
- The Burke Brook Stewardship Project: Five years ago, we initiated the Burke Brook Stewardship Project to support Toronto’s Don Watershed. The Burke Brook runs along the Lisa Hardie Woodland Train in the ravine at the back of the school property. The vision of this project is to protect and regenerate the natural form and function of the Burke Brook. In partnership with schools and other community members, we began the project with a commitment to regenerate the ravine as a Carolinian Forest of native trees, shrubs and grasses.
- Tree Planting: We have started a tradition on Celebration Saturday of planting trees in the Woodland Trail.
- Outdoor Classroom: Two years ago, the Grade 6 classes formalized the outdoor classroom into an active place of learning. In each grade in the Junior School, teachers have integrated curriculum that addresses the topic of sustainability, including learning in the Lisa Hardie Woodland Trail’s outdoor classroom.