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Sisler earns Earthie Award

Sisler High School’s Sustainability Circle—which is providing a sustainable model for localized food sources—was recently honoured with the Manitoba EcoNetwork’s Earthie Award.

Teacher Lauren Sawchuk and four student representatives received the award in person at the Reel Green Festival on Feb. 1.

“It was a nice way to acknowledge all the work students are doing after school,” Ms. Sawchuk said.

The Sustainability Circle refers to several student groups that coordinate recycling, composting, gardening and cooking. For example, the After School Cookers club takes produce grown in the school’s own gardens and creates tasty recipes,
and also cans and preserves produce for later use.

“We usually grow organic stuff like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and we even tried herbs this year too. The food tastes better knowing you grew it,” said student Mark Toledo.

Through composting efforts, students are using a “composting tea” on both school and home gardens.

“My mom grew tomatoes and lettuce with the composting tea and it worked out really well. We grew lots of vegetables,” Mark said.

The Sisler model offers an important alternative when it comes to food production and consumption.

“We need a different point of view,” Mark said. “Everything is moved by the dollar bill, so it takes someone to change that—someone who values  the environment more and doesn’t care how much money they make.”

Budget wise, the clubs run a tight ship. No food is wasted and even seeds are saved for next year’s planting.

“The goal of the Sustainability Circle isn’t necessarily to make money,” Ms. Sawchuk said. “It’s to get more people to be sustainable.”

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