Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Helping the Planet with Janet - By Hayden Fitzgerald, Grade 11 Biology

I have been doing grade 11 biology and during this time I have studied a lot about the environment and humans living in the environment.

Plants and Vegetable Production
Throughout the course we have learned about plants and plant reproduction methods for the plant unit. We have an organic vegetable garden at school and have learned about and used  many types of plant reproduction methods. These include planting by seed, rhizome, bulbs, tubers, and clippings.

Seed Method:
  • We placed avocado pits in soil to simulate how it would grow in nature and have been patiently waiting and observing the results
  • We sprinkled flax seed over soil to grow the flax.

Clipping method:
  • We cut the green tops off a pineapple and put the green head in soil to regrow the pineapple. It takes a couple of years before harvest

Tuber method:
  • We took potatoes that were starting to root.  We cut off sections with the shoots coming off making sure to have parts of the flesh attached. We then  planted each of these in deep pots of soil.

  • Rhizomes – you can grow the following through their rhizomes - mint, rhubarb, ginger, horseradish, ginger, turmeric, asparagus.    I wasn’t there the day my class planted mint by using the rhizome. Here is a link for finding out more \/

  • Our class planted garlic in the fall by taking apart the full bulb and taking each clove and placing it a few centimeters into the soil. We  then covered it with leaves and a layer of sticks for winter protection. Then in the spring we will remove the layers of sticks and leaves and  wait for the shoots to come up.  In June you can harvest the scapes which are edible. The bulbs are harvested in late July.
  • Egyptian Onions - and our class also planted Egyptian Onions. The bulbs grow at the tips of the plant and then fall over to re-seed themselves. We take these bulbs and plant them in the soil in the desired location.

Root clippings:
  • We cut the roots off of green onions and leeks that we we using in cooking.  We stuck the roots in soil to let them regrow. This method lets us have a continual crop of green onions and leeks when needed.

Runners: strawberry plants, thyme can be reproduced using runners.
  • We have a wild strawberry plant in the classroom and we also have thyme growing as well. I was not here for the planting of these but my class did plant these.

Grafting:  we did not do grafting at school but there are many resources available.  Fruit trees such as apple trees often use the grafting method.
  • Here are some resources:

Taking care of the environment

In this class I have also helped with organizing the blue, black, and compost bins around the school to help the planet.  We have also made compost liners out of newspapers so we don’t have to purchase them and have taught other students how to make them. Here is the link so you can make your own liners:

We have also shared our knowledge of sorting recycling and garbage with other classmates and people in the school. We did an garbage and recycle audit. We also went class to class with a sort-it-out activity challenge for each class. In this activity students were given a variety of blue, black, compost and garbage items and were challenged to sort them into the proper bin. We rated each class and gave feedback on their successes.

My classmates and I also made a petition for stopping the use of non-decomposable coffee lids. This was sent out to Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, and Starbucks through a  petition. We are encouraging people to read, sign and and share the petition to reduce plastic waste on our planet. We also encourage people to  Lug-A-Mug to their coffee shops/fast food outlets. Here is the link and please support our work to save this planet for our future generations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully you can help save the planet as well.

Hayden Fitzgerald, Frederick Banting Alternate Site

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Solar Energy

Solar energy comes from harvesting the sun’s energy with the use of solar panels. Solar panels are made of semiconductor materials, and when sunlight hits the panels, electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, which generates electricity. Solar energy does not work at night and can be affected by weather, thus it is important to use a storage device, such as a battery. Solar energy use has surged about 20% over the last 15 years.

For more information, visit:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Minimizing Waste to Reduce Ecological Footprint at Construction Company Matt Brule

Plan for Minimizing Waste to Reduce Ecological Footprint at a Construction Company
By Matt Brule for SNC2P January 30, 2017

What the company I work for does:

 I work for Capital City Flooring and Renovations.  I am one of  about 10 guys in the company. We install flooring,  banisters and staircases. We  also renovate bathrooms, install showers and any other task you can think of provided our boss has someone who can do the job. Ron, my boss lines up jobs for us and we all meet in the morning. He tells us where to go for the job, we load tools into my van and then off we go do the job. The average job takes about 2-3 days. When job done is done there is always a lot of waste from everything we have torn out. During the job debris is put in garbage bags which we put in a big trailer. After the job is done I or my boss brings the load to the dump. We have to pay to have it dumped at the dumps site off Moodie Drive.  This is my plan to reduce and recycle the waste taken out.

My Plan:
To help the environment im putting in a plan at my work so a lot of the materials we normally bring to the dump get recycled. In order to do so we would need to get  a Blue Bin, a Green Bin, a Black Bin and a Re-use Bin in addition to the garbage bin/bags we already use  so we can separate all the waste and reusables from every job. This would eliminate the amount of garbage brought to the dump every week and it would be alot better for the environment.

List of materials that we normally bring to the dump:
-paint cans

What we would do differently:

Green bin

Blue bin
-Paint cans

Black bin


Re-Use & Re-Purpose

We could also reuse some material that is still good at the end of a job for a different job in the future.  Anything that the company does not reuse can be brought to Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Follow the link below for more information on ReStore and how to bring used construction materials a new life while helping communities in need.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home and building supply stores that accept and resell quality new and used building materials. Shopping at a Habitat ReStore is a socially conscious decision, as funds generated are used to fund local Habitat for Humanity home building projects.

That is my idea to reduce our ecological footprint and help the environment.

The City of Ottawa website details how demolition and construction waste can be properly diverted

Construction material
Plaster, wood (including pressure-treated lumber), drywall, concrete, asphalt or other waste resulting from building construction, renovation or demolition are brought to the Trail Road Landfill Site or to another landfill.
The following companies offer a program for recycling some construction and renovation materials:

·   The West Carleton Environmental Centre has plans to improve waste management for companies  such as the one I work for to reduce waste going to landfills. More information can be found at this website: proposed facility will be aligned with the City of Ottawa’s long-term waste management goals and the province’s environmental values and policy statements relating to zero waste, climate change and green energy creation. “

·   In addition the Tomlinson Waste Recovery Centre has a waste recovery centre for construction debris and waste materials. They accept construction and demolition waste, electronic waste, blue and black waste, metal decommissioned appliances, solid non-hazardous waste.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Skip the Straws

The Last Plastic Straw movement was started by the Plastic Pollution Coalition, an organization devoted to encouraging individuals to avoid using straws and other single-use plastic products. Per year, Americans discard more than 30 million tons of plastic, and most of it is not recycled. By refusing to use single-use plastic products, much of this waste could be avoided.

Over 500,000,000 straws are used on a daily basis in the United States and serve as a massive contributor to plastic pollution. The Plastic Pollution Coalition encourages individuals to sign a pledge stating that they will refuse single-use plastic straws when they are offered. The Plastic Pollution Coalition also provides a list on their website of several ways you can take action to help reduce plastic waste in your community.

Plastic does not biodegrade, and is often ingested by animals, causing a variety of problems. When incinerated, toxic chemicals are released into our air, which we then breathe. By refusing to use straws and other single-use plastic products, individuals can contribute to maintaining the health of our environment.

For more information, visit the links below:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Stand with me on World Water Day....a look back to March 2017...and a look Forward...Call for Continued Action

In March 2017 Students at Banting Stood Up for Clean Water on World Water Day and Week. They went class to class brainstorming  on how to reduce water consumption. They also spoke to the classes about the concerns for First Nations Communities across Canada and the water quality issue particularly in our neighbouring community of Kitigan Zibi and Barriere Lake. Students signed the petition by the David Suzuki Foundation advocating to the government for clean and safe water in First Nations communities. In January 2018 Indigenous Services Minister Philpott announced 

"the Government of Canada is taking further steps to end long-term drinking water advisories affecting public water systems on reserve. Working with First Nation communities, the Government of Canada will work to ensure 91 long-term drinking water advisories are lifted by March 2021." 

However now in even after this commitment more First Nations Communities have been identified as having water quality issues. The David Suzuki Petiton "Clean Water for All" is still collecting signatures. Access to clean water for all Canadians is still an important issue. 

Here is the link for taking action

Ottawa River Keeper also has also been advocating for change. Here is the link

Here is our student's e-mail sent to Banting Students to help "Stand with me for clean water on World Water Day" 

From: Banting Students 
Date: Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:48 AM
Subject: Fwd: Stand with me for clean water on World Water Day

Banting Students!

This is a follow up from our World Water Day and Week presentation last Wednesday and Friday!
We appreciate the time you have given us to share with you our concerns of the growing water crisis here in the world and the struggles First Nations communities around us face everyday due to their lack of fresh water available to them. 

Here in Canada it is incredibly easy to take our clean and fresh water for granted. But because of your participation and ideas on how to conserve water we are now reminded and mindful to take shorter showers, turn the tap off while brushing our teeth and using excess shower water to water plants in your home. We will be sharing the list of all of your creative ideas and suggestions for further discussion!

Thank you for providing us with your name and e-mail to participate in David Suzuki's petition to provide fresh water to First Nation communities here in Canada which will be sent to Justin Trudeau. 

By scrolling down and clicking the attachment below, you will be directed to the David Suzuki Foundation site where we you will have the opportunity to sign the petition. 

To read more on the local issues concerning our Anishinaabe neighbours in Kitigan Zibi and Barriere Lake are facing, visit Ottawa River Keeper:

Mikayla Menzies, Kaylee McKay, Taylor McLean, Shannon Tisch , Janet Perry , Science- Room 2

Frederick Banting Alternate

Subject: Stand with me for clean water on World Water Day

David Suzuki Foundation

World Water Day highlights the importance of reconciliation

World Water Day
Photo credit: Tjflex2 via Flickr
Dear janet,
Last month, I joined David Suzuki Foundation colleagues and courageous First Nations leaders from Nibinamik, ShoalLake 40 and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council encouraging the federal government end drinking water advisories.
On World Water Day, I’m standing for every person in Canada’s right to clean water and calling for an end to the First Nations drinking water crisis. Will you join me?
Clean water for all
I’ve benefited from eons of careful stewardship of the land, air and waters where I grew up — long before I was ever aware of colonialism, injustice, or land rights and title.
I was born on shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation land on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast.
I grew up across the road from the Salish Sea (the Georgia Straight), between two salmon-bearing streams, on a street called S-tálashen (orca). I didn’t know it at the time, but the shíshálh people harvested salmon from those streams for millennia, as the orca had done in the adjacent sea.
Despite being born on traditional, unceded First Nation territory, despite going to school with Indigenous kids who lived on “reserves” on the periphery of my hometown, my education in Canada’s colonial history didn’t come till much later.
I studied international development at university. I learned about Latin American countries scarred by colonial oppression. I began to wonder about wounds inflicted at home…
My education continues to this day. I’m often shocked and heartbroken by the historical and ongoing injustices Indigenous peoples and communities face.
In the spirit of reconciliation, I will continue to be curious about our history and act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Canada. And I encourage you to go exploring.
Look under the rocks of Canada’s colonial past. You might experience heartbreak. But you will also find hope and healing.
On, World Water Day, stand with me and Indigenous peoples who have lived here for thousands of years.
With hope,
Alaya Boisvert
Manager of Government Relations, Blue Dot
The David Suzuki Foundation

P.S. On March 22, World Water Day, will you join me to demand an end to the First Nations water crisis?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monarch Butterflies and Climate Change

Monarch Butterflies and Climate Change by Corrina Walsh

A quick look at the positive and negative effects of climate change on Monarch butterflies, and what's being done as well as what you can do to contribute to the conservation of Monarch Butterflies.

The idea was inspired by the Monarch Caterpillar brought in a fellow student (Pearl)  that we then raised from a caterpillar until it emerged as a butterfly in Janet's class in September, 2017.

Once our Monarch Butterfly emerged we made sure it was fed, we tagged it for the Citizen Science Monarch Watch Tagging Program  (through Monarch Watch) and released it for it's migration to Mexico.

Our school also has a Monarch Weigh Station to provide habitat for Monarch Butterflies and other nectaring insects.

Here is my project to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on Monarch's and what we can do to help!