Youth in Saskatoon are taking action to improve our environment through the Student Action for a Sustainable Future (SASF) program. Approximately 300 grade 5-8 students from across the city have been working on sustainability-focused projects in the areas of waste, water, food, transportation, biodiversity and energy.
One of the highlights from these projects comes from Saskatoon Misbah School where students conducted unique audits that focused on conserving water during a cleansing process called wudu. Wudu is performed by Muslims before prayer as a type of ritual purification. During this procedure, the hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, head, and feet are washed with water. By helping each other conserve and measure the amount of water used, the students saw a savings of 527 litres of water per day. If they keep up this action, they could save up to 94,000 litres of water every year.
This project and over 50 other projects from schools across the city will be on display at the Student Action for a Sustainable Future year end showcase held at the Western Development Museum on April 26 from 10:00am-11:30am. School board trustees, superintendents, government representatives, family members, community organizations, and media representatives have been invited to view, engage and interact with the teachers, students and their projects.
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society’s SASF Coordinator, Leah Luciuk, commends the program for its student-driven approach to teaching and learning, stating "SASF gives teachers and students the experience they need to become environmental leaders in their schools and community. The results on display at the Student Showcase prove that students' small actions can influence a much larger solution."
Since the program’s inception in 2013 it has involved 60 teachers, 44 schools, and approximately 1600 students while reaching over 18,100 students via school displays, assemblies, and newsletters. The program has also received both international and local recognition through the following agencies:
- 2017 - The SASF program was featured as an international case study by the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP)
- 2017 - St. Volodymyr School’s participating grade 7/8 class received the Rob Dumont Energy Management Education Award
- 2016 - St. Anne School’s participating grade 8 class received the Rob Dumont Energy Management Youth Award
- 2013 - The SASF program received a Regional Centre for Expertise Award for Education for Sustainable Development
- 2013 - The SASF program received the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Waste Minimization Award for Youth/Schools
The Student Action for a Sustainable Future program is a partnership between the City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Public School Division, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, the Sustainability Education Research Institute, and a number of educational stakeholders and community organizations.
The City of Saskatoon’s commitment to community environmental programs supports the City’s Strategic Goal of Environmental Leadership, including its goal of 70% waste diversion by 2023 and its greenhouse gas reduction target to reduce emissions by 80% below 2014 levels by 2050.
For more information, visit Saskatoon.ca/StudentAction.