Green School Routine Green School Routine

Thank you for teaching youth across the province to reduce, reuse and recycle. We can help.


Schools are leading the way in environmental initiatives, providing creative learning environments that empower our youth to make positive efforts to reduce their waste.

Our school program promotes environmental stewardship within Newfoundland and Labrador’s school system, focusing on waste reduction as a means of protecting our environment. The successes we realize are only achieved because of teachers and administrators like you – environmental champions who have chosen to take action. We thank you for your leadership and for helping MMSB educate and motivate the youth of our province to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle their way to a greener future.

2016-17 Green School Calendar:

From Earth Day to World Environment Day, there are lots of opportunities to go green throughout the school year. Get a head start by adding these special occasions to your school calendar!

October 17-23, 2016  Waste Reduction Week

March 22, 2017  World Water Day

March 25, 2017  (8:30-9:30PM) Earth Hour

April 22, 2017  Earth Day

May 7-13, 2017  Compost Awareness Week

June 5-11, 2017  Environment Week

June 5, 2017  World Environment Day

June 8, 2017  World Ocean’s Day


We know how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle at home but we can also take our daily green routine to school where teachers and students spend most of their day.

Keep in mind the order of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and THEN Recycle. Now, each time you throw something in the garbage, ask yourself how you could have avoided creating that garbage.

We all have control over the choices we make – it is these daily choices that can have a profound effect on the environment. Remember, if we’re part of the problem, we can be part of the solution!

In The Office

  • Use reusable intra-office envelopes.
  • Pre-print envelopes or use return address stamps.
  • Purchase office/school supplies in bulk and choose items with less packaging.
  • Avoid purchasing supplies for your school that do not last or cannot be repaired.
  • Post staff memos in a centralized area or email memos to all staff members.
  • Email notices home to parents or post updates on your school website.

In The Staff Room

  • Post staff memos in a centralized area or email memos to all staff members.
  • If your school has a composting program, collect coffee grounds and filters for composting.
  • Share resources with other teachers instead of making multiple copies.

Around School

  • Donate unwanted computer equipment and office furniture to a local charity.
  • Plan a class or school-wide rummage sale or swap.
  • Start a book exchange in the library for used paperback books and magazines.
  • Organize a school-wide composting program.
  • Make art/technology projects out of reused material.
  • Promote the 3Rs in school with a creative mural.
  • Find out how much waste your school generates by doing a school waste audit.
  • Have a “green day” at school – get everyone to wear (and think) green
  • Start an environmental group at school.

In The Copy Room

  • Print tests and assignments double-sided.
  • Set the copier to automatically print double-sided or post a sign as a reminder.
  • Minimize misprints by posting directions on how to load special paper, like letterhead.
  • When making copies from a book or periodical, use your copier’s reduction feature to fit two pages onto one standard sheet.
  • Collect and reuse office paper that is still blank on one side.
  • Encourage your school to purchase recycled paper.
  • Encourage your school to buy reusable toner cartridges.
  • Set aside and reuse office supplies like file folders, binders, paper clips, etc.

In The Computer Lab

  • Edit documents on screen and only print your final draft.
  • Use joint-editing software if you are working in a group.
  • Always use the print preview before printing.
  • Print documents double-sided – post a sign if you tend to forget.
  • Print in colour only when necessary.
  • Collect and reuse printer paper that is still blank on one side.
  • Recycle used ink cartridges where possible.

In The Cafeteria

  • Encourage cafeteria staff to use reusable dishes and cutlery in your cafeteria.
  • Try not to waste food at lunch. Only take as much as you will eat.
  • Bring a waste-free lunch – a lunch packed using reusable containers and cutlery, a reusable lunch bag and a cloth napkin.
  • Have a school-wide waste-free lunch day once a month.
  • If your school has a composting program, ask cafeteria staff to collect organic waste (like fruit and vegetable peels and scraps) from food preparation. Also, give students and teachers a place to put their organic waste.
  • Place a beverage container recycling bin in your cafeteria.

In The Classroom

  • Use both sides of the paper in your exercise book or binder.
  • Collect scrap paper in your classroom to use for notes and art projects.
  • Try not to waste school supplies – use only what you need.
  • Collect and reuse things like binders, folders, paper clips, thumbtacks, etc.
  • Collect recyclables in your classroom.
  • Start a class vermicompost bin.
  • Take care of your things so they will last.
  • Encourage parents to purchase durable, long-lasting school supplies.
  • Bring a waste-free lunch to school.
  • Don’t waste paper towels – choose the hand dryer if that’s an option.
  • Make arts and crafts projects out of recycled material.
  • Celebrate the holidays at school by decorating with recycled items.

For more information about MMSB’s school program contact

Sustainable Schools

Our schools are making great strides for the environment. From classroom composting to building outdoor classrooms – our schools are full of tomorrow’s environmental leaders – putting nature back into learning! Check out these schools that are leading the way to a greener future.

Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Corner Brook

While many students are still inside dreaming of the last day of school, students at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Corner Brook have plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy a lesson in the school’s newly-completed outdoor classroom, an open-air learning environment complete with natural stone, trees and shrubs nestled in a beautiful boreal setting.

Students and staff at the independent K-12 school lead the way in environmental initiatives.  In addition to being a top recycler in MMSB’s School Recycling Program, they have also been recognized both provincially and nationally for their outstanding participation in the Recycle My Cell contest.

Students have even more opportunity to take their lessons outdoors through a school-wide composting program and the construction of a self-sustained, carbon-neutral greenhouse that gives students the opportunity to apply the compost they’ve created to the soil, in turn, growing healthy herbs and vegetables, which are donated to local families in need.

It’s no wonder that their commitment to protecting the environment has earned Immaculate Heart of Mary School a 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Award in the school category, truly an inspiration to other schools to start their own environmental initiatives and get outside to enjoy the great outdoors!

Beachy Cove Elementary, Portugal Cove-St.Phillips

Beachy Cove Elementary has an outdoor classroom that was built on a foundation of community support. The project was spearheaded by grade two teacher Paula Courage and funded in part by MMSB’s school beverage recycling program. This multi-disciplinary learning space entices students and teachers to spend more class time outside and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds their school. The school is already incorporating their outdoor classroom into regular curriculum. The next phase will be the addition of planters, flowers and a vegetable garden!

Beachy Cove Elementary is a model for waste reduction at school and achieves its green goals with the help of motivated teachers such as Ms. Courage and the student enviro-club. Following their lead, students and staff have successfully put the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – into action. To reduce waste generated at lunch time, the school promotes waste-free lunches and replaced disposable lunch order bags with reusable pouches for every student in the school.

As active participants in MMSB’s school recycling program, beverage containers are recycled in school and through a weekly recycling drop-off.  The school also recycles paper with recycle bins set up in classrooms and throughout the school. Taking recycling a step further, Ms. Courage’s class decided to recycle just like nature does, by letting their fruit and veggie waste break down naturally in a vermicompost bin (an indoor compost bin filled with red wiggler worms). Beachy Cove Elementary shows us that when people work together, the possibilities are endless!

Peacock Primary School, Happy Valley-Goose Bay

The students of Peacock Primary have dug up great new ways to be environmentally friendly with their school vegetable garden! Sandra Broomfield, Principal, and the grade 2 class learn about organic processes with a focus on growing their own food and the types of food that can be grown in Labrador, despite a short growing season and sometimes harsh climate.

Each spring, students plant seeds in two growing stations and care for them until they grow into seedlings. In June, the class takes the seedlings to Green Earth Farm where they plant potatoes, onions, and carrots alongside the farmers crops. Over the summer, the farmers and teachers care for the plants as they grow. In the fall, students return to see how much their seedlings have changed into vegetables now ready for harvest. Each child leaves the farm not only with vegetables to take home, also with some food for thought. This unique learning experience allows students to gain an appreciation for the earth and see first-hand the fruits of their labour!

The school plans on expanding their green initiatives in the coming years to include a greenhouse to grow flowers, school beautification project, and waste-free lunch days. Sandra Broomfield and her students should be proud as a peacock for all the great things happening at Peacock Primary School.

Email to tell us about your school’s environmental successes.

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