Engaging, informative, fun convincing, educational, well-organized, focused and CRITICAL to today’s youthPatrice Oscienny, Isabella Dicken Elementary School teacher SD#5.

We are at a point in our society where the onus is on younger generations to truly influence the path we’re on. Today’s youth are inheriting a planet of rapidly changing ecosystems and declining natural resources. It is the responsibility of adults, whether in the capacity of a teacher or parent, to help equip youth with the tools and knowledge that will allow them to achieve positive environmental change in their own lives and their communities.

The Beyond Recycling programs aim to equip students with the knowledge they need to make important decisions for our planet. Throughout this program, students will look critically at the impact, or ecological footprint, of their schools, homes and businesses. Students will investigate the true environmental cost of a products lifecycle, including: extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution. The phenomenon of climate change will be explored and students will gain an understanding of the concept of cumulative impacts: that the choices they make on a daily basis contribute to the global issue of climate change. Through research, field trips, videos and special presentations, students will start to understand how our planet is impacted by our lifestyles, and the changes we can make to lighten our footprint.

Beyond Recycling was one of three programs that was inspired in Canmore, Alberta, by the success of the Rocky Mountain Flatbread company. The program was expanded and adapted to Fernie, with four years of program development led by Dawn Deydey and Megan Walsh to create the 120 page Beyond Recycling Program Manual with over 20 lessons. In 2009, the program was incorporated as a Wildsight Regional Education for Sustainable Living program. With the assistance of Program Manager Monica Nissen, the program has now expanded to twenty classrooms throughout the Kootenays.

The discussions that develop from some of the lessons are always a highlight for me. These are the opportunities to connect the elements taught with real-life examples and experiences
Megan Walsh, Beyond Recycling Educator

Beyond Recycling:

  • Is a Wildsight environmental education program. Developed in the Kootenays, Beyond Recycling (BR) provides an action-oriented, solutions-focused curriculum that allows students to recognize the impacts of their lifestyle choices, and highlights the importance of individual action.
  • Is unlike any other classroom based environmental education program.  An experienced passionate trained BR educator brings props, resources, movies, slideshows and games into the classroom for hour-long lessons and engages your students in fun, engaging, hands-on activities while addressing current environmental issues.
  • Consists of twenty-three or more interactive lessons that focus on increasing awareness and student empowerment. All BR lessons are based on scientifically sound information, and integrate locally relevant and recent information, particularly around issues of resource extraction, energy and waste reduction.
  • Lessons address environmental issues, and aim to remove barriers to motivate appropriate choices and behaviors for sustainable living.  Students participate in EcoChallenge activities to develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world and to help motivate them to make ecologically informed decisions and take action.
  • Offers teachers the opportunity to access 4 engaging lesson plans as part of the BR program.  The Teacher Taught lessons are accessed online via the BR website and offer access to the necessary lesson plans, slideshows, worksheets and resources.

Online Resources

All Beyond Recycling resources are available online via www.beyondrecycling.ca.  When you register to participate in the Beyond Recycling program, you will also receive a BR teacher online account so you can access the password-protected resources available including:

Student Resources –online resources for students that build on each of the lessons.
Teacher Resources – lesson objectives, extension activities and answer keys for each lesson
School Blogs – capture highlights of what participating schools in the region are doing
Teacher Taught Lesson Plans – lesson resources (lesson plans, worksheets, slideshows) where teachers facilitate select BR lessons.


Science is best learned by applying knowledge to a relevant situation, and the Beyond Recycling program is unique, providing the opportunity for students to understand the local context of science-based concepts, such as climate change, resource extraction and energy consumption. It is our intention that the scientific knowledge gained by students in Beyond Recycling will have a positive impact on our communities.

Curriculum Connections

Beyond Recycling is a perfect complement to the new curriculum, offering numerous opportunities for students and teachers to delve deeper into the learning through personalised learning as well as place-based learning. The program spans the disciplines, incorporating Big Ideas in Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies, as well as incorporating numerous Core Competencies (in the Thinking, Communication and most particularly the Personal and Social arenas). In addition, new and relevant assessment tools such as Student Self-Assessment and Reflection are provided. The new curriculum has been designed with flexibility and choice in mind, and Beyond Recycling matches this commitment in numerous, exciting ways.