Hot Topics Calendar

Exploring current issues in the classroom

This feature was developed by Resources for Rethinking to connect students to some of the efforts being made to solve important problems that are affecting our planet. Hot Topics are published during the school year to coincide with the timing of national and international campaigns taking place to raise awareness of these key issues.

Each Hot Topic edition includes links to classroom materials from theResources for Rethinking database that will encourage students and teachers to explore the environmental, economic and social dimensions of these issues and to take action in support of the larger campaign.

Hot Topics Calendar

UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 16

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

September 20-28, 2014

World Food Day

October 16


Waste Reduction Week

October 20-26, 2014


World Fisheries Day

November 21


Buy Nothing Day

November 28, 2014


COP 20: UN Climate Change Conference

December 1-12, 2014

World Wetlands Day

February 2


World Day of Social Justice

February 20


World Water Day

March 22


Earth Hour

March 28, 2015

Earth Day

April 22


International Day for Biological Diversity

May 22

Canadian Enviroment Week

June 1-7, 2014

National Aboriginal Day

June 21

Canada Day

July 1

 

Waste Reduction Week in Canada
October 20-26, 2014

Teachers! Why not involve your students in an important week-long campaign that promotes waste reduction by encouraging Canadians to reduce, reuse and recycle. Built on the theme, Too Good To Waste, this week-long campaign is intended to help us all better appreciate the richness and beauty of our planet and understand the role that waste reduction can play in solving many of our environmental problems.

During Waste Reduction Week students and teachers from across Canada are encouraged to explore the social, economic and environmental impacts of waste and to participate in action projects within their own communities to make a positive difference.

Why Care about Waste Reduction? 

  • Across Canada it costs more than $1.5 billion per year to dispose of garbage
  • There are well over 10,000 landfill sites in Canada.
  • Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions
  • A plastic bag will take approximately 400 years to break down in a landfill
  • 70% of land-filled waste could be either reused or recycled
  • 5 billion drink boxes are thrown away each year in North AmericaIn a lifetime, the average Canadian will throw away 600 x his or her adult weight in garbage.
  • A 68 kg adult will leave a legacy of 40,825 kg of trash.
  • By the age of 6 months the average Canadian has consumed the same quantity of resources as the average person in the developing world consumes in a lifetime.

  • E-waste is the fastest growing source of waste in North America

  • Only 11% of e-waste is recycled

  • Most e-waste is shipped overseas or land-filled, where chemicals such as lead and mercury can leach into the groundwater and soil.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in Waste Reduction Week and offers the following suggestions to support this year’s theme.

For more information and activities be sure to check out the Waste Reduction Week in Canada website at http://www.wrwcanada.com/