Waste Not, Want Not

The Brentwood Environmental Action Team (The BEAT)

Brentwood College
  • Mixed Secondary School Grades
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 

Cowichan Energy Alternatives

Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?: 


Leadership: An old proverb, Waste Not, Want Not, was The Brentwood Environmental Action Team’s (BEAT) motivation for this year’s entry into the BC Green Games. This proverb means that “if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need”. As a community, The BEAT wanted to increase awareness about misuse of our resources, increase the effectiveness with which we use the resources we have, and educate our community about the importance of waste streaming. At monthly BEAT meetings and through weekly BEAT updates, students gain knowledge about lowering their ecological footprints, implementing green initiatives and working to become stewards of the environment.

Education: The Reduce My Footprint project worked to educate our new Grade 9 students about ecological footprints. They researched the lifecycle of an item that was in current use, created a movie and then made a pledge that would require the student to track his/her progress over the school year to observe if he/she could reduce her/his footprint. It will be interesting to see how much progress is made.

Brentwood College School will be working with Cowichan Energy Alternatives to provide experts to show our students about a variety of local environmental initiatives. 75 Grade 9 students will learn about where our waste goes and the impact that it is making by touring the CVRD recycling facility in Duncan under the guidance of a CVRD employee and/or CEA staffer guides. Grade 9 students will also learn how asphalt, rubber tires, old appliances and even used mattress can all be diverted from landfill. Senior students will participate in Cowichan Energy Alternatives new education program about the production of biodiesel. Students will attend production demonstrations, and participate in  discussions surrounding waste management, sustainability, and pollution of our water, air, and soil.

The BEAT will work to educate our community at school assemblies, in educational emails and through our Energy Consumption Reduction contest in April about the importance of working to reduce our resource consumption and decrease our food waste.

ACTION: Food scraps from the Brentwood kitchen are sent to a local farm to feed the pigs and chickens and the cooking oil is sent to the Cowichan Biodiesel Co-op for recycling. There are many opportunities to sort our waste whether it be on our campus grounds, in the boarding houses, or sorting our refundables to be sent to Encorp for recycling. In our dining hall, we are working as a community to correctly sort.

DIFFERENCE: Brentwood College School’s motto is De Manu De Manum which means from hand to hand. The BEAT's motto is LEAD which means Leadership + Education + Action = Difference. With Senior BEAT reps who are in Grade 12 and assistants in Grade 11, the Brentwood Environmental Action Team’s hope is that the “sustainability” torch is passing from hand to hand, continuing to send a positive message about the importance of being leaders and taking action in our global and local communities in order to make a difference. With this year’s entry, The BEAT hopes that our community has become more informed not only about the impact of our waste but also about how we can become more sustainable in how we manage it. In the words of Margaret Mead, which are posted prominently outside our school library, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Secondary School Winner