Earth Day Resources, Tips and Advice
From our team at the ISFS and Farm Schools
Creatures of Convenience - Documentary
This solutions-focused film explores the challenges our convenience culture is placing on our environment, and gives doable actions anyone can adopt to curb our waste in our daily lives.
Watch it for FREE here
Farmers for Climate Solutions:
Farmers for Climate Solutions is a national alliance of farmer organizations and supporters who believe that agriculture must be part of the solution to climate change.
They recently released federal budget recommendations to engage farmers in addressing climate change: https://farmersforclimatesolutions.ca/budget-2021-recommendation
They are BC’s oldest and largest food and agriculture charitable non-profit organization, working to inspire and equip people to eat food that nourishes themselves and the planet since 1993.
They have a wide variety of resources available, notably:
- Climate solutions
- Climate mitigation strategies for Canadian food systems
“The Lean Farm” by Ben Hartman
We really like this book because he talks a lot about identifying and reducing waste in your farm operation, which helps reduce your costs and increases your long term viability/sustainability. So buy/borrow the book, and follow him on social/youtube!
Payal Batra - ISFS Research Associate
Vote with your $, support local/organic where you can - where there is demand, supply has to follow.
Dru Yates - IPM Teacher at Richmond Farm School
Climate change impacts the life cycle and distribution of pests of all types – insects, diseases, and weeds – as well as pollinators and other beneficial predatory insects. As a result, pest management strategies must also adapt accordingly. At the KPU Farm Schools, we explore climate-adaptive pest management practices, such as those involved in Integrated Pest Management, to equip our students with the tools they need to address changing pest pressures and to increase the resilience of our local food systems in the face of climate change.
Conor Fanning - On-Farm Construction Teacher at Richmond Farm School
My work building energy efficient houses is certainly related to our climate. Hopefully with more careful building practices the building of the future won’t rely on fossil fuels to maintain a liveable indoor environment.
Amy Norgaard - Soil Science Teacher at KPU Farm Schools
By using fall / winter cover crops, we can reduce N2O emissions from our fields and also sequester more CO2 (carbon)!
Angeli Dela Rosa - ISFS Research Associate
- Write your MLA and MP to advocate for greater public investment in sustainable agriculture! We need to pay farmers to adopt sustainable and climate smart practices.
- Buy from your locally owned grocer. If you can, walk/bike/take the bus instead of driving. Ask them to stock locally and sustainably grown products.
- Cook more at home using whole ingredients rather than buying super-processed foods. It’s healthier and has a smaller carbon footprint.
- Support your local schoolyard farm program by volunteering or donating – because education is powerful and so important, and it’s fun for the kids involved.
ISFS and KPU Farm Schools - Staff and Students
Following recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control, Canadian Centre for Disease Control, and the USCDC, KPU Farm Schools, including the Richmond Farm Program, Tsawwassen First Nation Farm Program, and facilities on KPU’s Richmond campus, will uphold the following protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious viruses.
- Any student/staff/instructor/farm guest who DO NOT feel well AT ALL, must stay home. No exceptions
- All students, specialty instructors, volunteers and incubators must complete a two-part online self assessment before going to the farm, every time. No exceptions.
- Part 1 - Complete this BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool online - https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
- Part 2 - Complete our KPU form below so that we have record that you have completed the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment:
- All KPU employees must take the KPU health check before going to the farm or campus every time. No exceptions. (KPU employees only need to fill out this form and NOT the two forms above)
- Those who fail to take this test before arriving at the farm will be sent home, unless able to complete the form on their phones before entering the premises.
- To help reduce personal risk of infection all farm staff and farm school students should:
- Stay 6ft apart at all times.
- Wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained and refrain from touching the mask.
- This follows KPU’s policy for outdoor classroom settings - “When you are outdoors on campus, please wear a mask unless you can guarantee that you can stay at least six feet away from others at all times.”
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If a sink is not available, alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
- Not touch their face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover mouth and nose with disposable tissue or the crease of the elbow when sneezing or coughing.
- Not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
KPU Farm Schools Procedures:
1. KPU Farm Schools will take the following steps to reduce staff and student risk of exposure to Covid-19 when farm school and facilities remain open:
- Promote hand hygiene by ensuring washrooms remain stocked with soap and offering hand sanitizer at entrances.
- Increase routine cleaning practices – clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Enforce requisite physical distancing.
- Create and provide more space for students, employees, and customers to interact by:
- Reducing class sizes
- Ensure above protocols are implemented and followed
- Working remotely when possible, outside of class time.
- Require and support employees and students to stay home if they are sick, living with a person that is sick or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
2. ISFS Farm School will follow provincial and federal recommendations on cessation of classes and closing of facilities. Protocol will be to close all farms and facilities to students if these measures are recommended by health services or directed by KPU.
- In order to maintain a functional farm, staff may continue to farm, taking care to avoid large groups of people, strictly adhere to social distancing and sanitation protocols and reducing contact with anyone not at the farm site.
3. When forced to work from home either due to self isolation or closing of farms and facilities to reduce disease spread, employees will continue to earn a paycheck.
- Policies and tools will be expanded where possible to enable employees to work from home with appropriate security and network access.
- Remote work, record keeping, and office farm management tasks etc. will be delegated to them.
4. If KPU Farm Schools are forced to close due to protocol, a plan will be implemented at that time based on whether classes have commenced.
5. If an employee or student falls ill, KPU Farm Schools staff will require they vacate the farm and strongly encourages them to self-isolate
- Self-isolation means:
- Avoiding situations where the person could infect other people. This implies all situations where the person may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school, childcare, athletic events, university, faith-based gatherings, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and all public gatherings.
- The person should (where possible) not use public transportation including buses, taxis, or ride sharing.
- As much as possible, the person should limit contact with people other than the family members/companions that they travelled with. They should avoid having visitors to their home, but it is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food or other necessary provisions.
- If an employee or student is ill or presenting symptoms, they are to restrict themselves from coming to KPU Farm Schools facilities.
- Those who are ill are required to avoid the farms/workplace until symptoms have been fully resolved plus 5 days.
6. KPU Farm Schools also highly encourages employees and students to report confirmed cases, either of self or family members, of COVID-19 to management. This will allow for KPU Farm Schools to be able to put in place their support for that employee or student, working remotely, receiving continued pay, and education assistance.
- Those who have received a positive COVID-19 test are required to avoid the workplace for 14 days and/or until cleared by their healthcare team.
7. Those who are returning from international travel and those who have been exposed are required to avoid the workplace for 14 days, and are encouraged to self isolate for a period of 14 days as per health authority requirements. Return to work may resume on day 15 if no symptoms are shown.
8. KPU Farm Schools will isolate employees or students diagnosed at work and immediately disinfect objects they've touched. Appropriate healthcare authorities will be alerted of the case allowing for contact tracing and notification of potentially exposed parties if necessary.
9. KPU Farm Schools will log all contact of employees and students with other employees or visitors in case they become symptomatic so that others can be informed of potential exposure.
A more detailed breakdown of farm specific protocols can be found here - Covid Protocol_ISFS_KPU Farm Schools_Final_April 21.pdf