Green Bricks Education Society

Students at King George Secondary School in Vancouver participated in the Green Bricks program. (Photo: Vancity)

To deliver green building education for BC students in grades 9-12.

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Green Bricks is Educating for a Green Future

As the environment increasingly becomes a social concern, Green Bricks is empowering Grade 10 students across the province to integrate the principles of sustainability into their lives. From classroom presentations introducing topics of sustainable land use to discussions regarding policy change, Green Bricks aims to personalize the issues and provide students with practical tools to integrate sustainable practices into their daily lives. 

Green Bricks has experienced great success and because of the program students are taking on tangible initiatives to make their schools greener. At Holy Cross Regional High School in Surrey, nine students and their teacher, Peggy Ament, started an environmental group following the Green Bricks workshop in November 2009. The goal of this "grassroots" organization is to make a difference in the physical environment of Holy Cross while educating the school community regarding environmental issues. In Vancouver, Susan Ng and her students at Prince of Wales Secondary recently held their second annual Sustainable Design Ideas Fair. This was originally organized in 2009 as a result of the time Green Bricks spent with the students. And in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, Brentwood College School invited Green Bricks in to support its efforts in creating a more sustainable campus. Compact fluorescent lights have been installed in all the boarding houses along with light sensors in all the buildings, and low flow toilets across the campus. 

Green Bricks has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both teachers and students. One teacher commented, “I’ll be able to incorporate some of Green Bricks' content into my lessons and students will be able to continue their reflection about using earth’s resources in a sustainable way.” Students also expressed their appreciation for Green Bricks. As one student said, “The most important thing I learned today was that there are loads of things we can do to be green. I am going to make a list to make it happen.” Another student was excited by the lessons he learned from Green Bricks, “I learned a lot about ways to help keep the earth healthier just by doing simple things.” 

We have supported Green Bricks under our public education mandate since its pilot in 2007. At time of writing (summer 2010), the program has made it into 110 classes across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions. Green Bricks has great potential to instill a sense of environmental responsibility in our province’s youth that they will undoubtedly carry with them into the future.

- Elysha Ames