Canadian Schools Get Some "Green" For Environmental Stewardship

Staples Canada awards $250,000 in computer labs to 10 schools across the country

TORONTO, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Ten schools across Canada got an early Earth Day recognition after scoring high marks for their environmental initiatives.

Held in collaboration with Earth Day Canada, Staples Canada's Recycle for Education Computer Lab contest once again featured creative ideas from some of Canada's brightest young minds. Hundreds of entries showcasing green initiatives were submitted by elementary and secondary schools from coast-to-coast.

"It's inspiring to see students across the country embracing the idea that we all need to do more for the environment," said Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada. "These students are seeking innovative solutions to benefit their schools and to make a positive difference in their community."

Currently in its third year, Staples Canada's Recycle for Education Computer Lab contest rewarded the following schools with a $25,000 grant toward new computer equipment:

  • Campus View Elementary School, Victoria, BC
  • Windermere Community Secondary School, Vancouver, BC
  • Hillview Elementary School, Edmonton, AB
  • M.E. LaZerte High School, Edmonton, AB
  • École Saint-Avila, Winnipeg, MB
  • Parkview Secondary School, Hamilton, ON
  • E.L. Crossley Secondary School, Fonthill, ON
  • Hélène-de-Champlain Secondary School, Longueuil, QC
  • Notre-Dame-de-Liesse, Saint-Eugène-de-Guigues, QC
  • Holy Name of Mary Academy, Lawn, NL

One winning essay from Darian Chakhmouradian, a Grade 6 student at École Saint-Avila in Winnipeg, showed how the entire school community decided to rise to the "eco-challenge."

The entry told the story of how the collective efforts of 450 students led to 26 organizations coming together to plant native trees and plants on the school grounds - creating a massive rain garden - to help improve air and water quality, an initiative that is now heralded as a model across the province.

"Our principal and the parent committee received so many calls requesting tours of our school grounds that they wrote a guide book on how to improve school grounds and sent a copy to every school in Manitoba," wrote Chakhmouradian. "Now, at least 10 other schools are planting rain gardens because of what we did!"

Earth Day Canada works closely with teachers across the country to help develop programs designed to show students the importance of sustainability; it is a critical part of their mission to foster and celebrate environmental respect, action and behaviour change.

"Students and teachers across Canada are doing exceptional work to address environmental issues in their communities," said Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada. "The Recycle for Education program, by providing computer labs to schools, allows students access to knowledge, and in turn the practical solutions they can leverage, to address local environmental challenges."

For more information on Staples' environmental programs, or how schools can get a free ink cartridge bin, please visit Staples.ca.

About Staples Canada
Staples, Canada's largest office products company is committed to providing Canadians with a wide choice of office services and products. Serving all types of business - from the small home office to large enterprise - Staples makes it easy for customers to operate their offices efficiently and affordably by offering an extensive selection of office supplies, technology, electronics and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and maintenance, and copy and print services. Operating as Bureau en GrosMC in the province of Quebec and Staples Canada in all other provinces, the company employs over 15,000 associates at 330+ stores and at their head office in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Ranked as one of Canada's top ten Canadian companies in Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2011 Corporate Reputation Survey, Staples/Bureau en Gros is dedicated to offering customers the highest level of service, whether they choose to shop in-store, by catalogue or online. Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros also is invested in a number of corporate giving programs that actively support environmental, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives in Canadian communities from coast to coast. Visit www.staples.ca for more information, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Earth Day Canada
Earth Day Canada (EDC), a national environmental charity founded in 1990, provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. In 2004 it was recognized as the top environmental education organization in North America, for its innovative year-round programs and educational resources, by the Washington-based North American Association for Environmental Education, the world's largest association of environmental educators. In 2008 it was chosen as Canada's "Outstanding Non-profit Organization" by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. EDC regularly partners with thousands of organizations in all parts of Canada. To donate to Earth Day Canada, please visit www.earthday.ca/donate.

SOURCE Staples Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "(L to R) Darian Chakhmouradian, student at École Saint-Avila, Amit Bahl, general manager of Staples, and Debra MacDonald, regional vice president of Staples unveil the winning poster to a $25,000 computer lab care of Staples' Recycle for Education contest. (CNW Group/Staples Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130418_C6626_PHOTO_EN_25709.jpg



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