One Planet Challenge celebrates the sustainability ideas of Greater Victoria students

June 14, 2022

Ava Bate’s illustrates four simple green habits she’s brought into her life: conserving energy, growing food, biking and walking, and trading, thrifting, or reworking clothing.

One Planet Challenge celebrates the sustainability ideas of Greater Victoria students

Greater Victoria, BC – Winners of the One Planet Student Challenge were announced at a Celebration Event on June 9, 2022, hosted by One Planet BC, in collaboration with the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.

As part of the Student Challenge, 86 students across the region submitted videos and illustrations. Middle and Secondary School students shared their ideas on how to bring ‘One Planet Living’ into our lives – including by choosing climate-friendly transportation options, reducing our consumption through thrifting, supporting local farmers’ markets, beach cleanups, planting pollinator gardens and trees, community-building and more.

The Honorable Elizabeth May, municipal staff, students, teachers, and members of the One Planet community in Greater Victoria, attended the online Celebration Event. Students enjoyed hearing Elizabeth May speak about how she began working on environmental issues in Grade 10, during the first Earth Day in 1970. “This one planet work inspires me…I want to congratulate all of you,” said Elizabeth May. “Keep it up, never stop. Our collaborative work on sustainability locally and globally is so important.”

The City of Victoria and the District of Saanich also congratulated and thanked participating students.

“Your ideas are really creative, and they are going to help us,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “Your passion and creativity will help us keep to our one planet so that for now and the next seven generations and beyond we will have a vibrant, viable, and livable planet for our kids, grandkids and the people that come after them.”

“Sustainability is critical for communities to thrive and bringing organizations together through the one planet model is helping foster further collaboration and the sharing of ideas, which is exactly what’s needed to advance sustainability,” said the Acting District of Saanich Mayor Karen Harper. “Thank you to all the students who participated, and congratulations to our winners… keep up the excellent work!”

Featured videos and illustrations are available at One Planet BC, and below are a few highlights from some of the winning submissions.

Ava Bate designed an illustration focused on four key One Planet Living habits she has brought into her life. “Over the past four years at Reynolds Secondary, I have thought a lot about how I, as an individual, can be of service to the environment and the community, said Ava. “With the help of my family, I have added these four habits into my life as simple green habits that many people can practice in their life: conserve energy; grow your own food; bike and walk; and trade, thrift, or rework clothing.”

Ben Hindley created a video focused on how people can protect the land and benefit the bees. “Instead of getting a fence, plant a few trees – that way bees can collect pollen,” said Ben. And whenever you take down a tree, you can plant flowers or a bigger or smaller tree. In these two ways, you are not only benefiting the bees and their future but also yourself.”

India Furtado and Nancy Liu created a video that included interviews of community members to see how they were contributing to a greener future. Their video also explored the link between healthy micro-organism-rich soil and levels of natural dopamine, which gives the feeling of happiness.

Matthias Spalteholz produced a videologue highlighting a beach cleanup he organized to remove abandoned docks that had washed up on a local beach. He contacted the local government, beach cleanup organizations, neighbours, and landfills to determine how the docks could be disposed of. Sixteen volunteers came together to cut up the docks, carry the pieces 500 metres to the parking lot and load them into a U-Haul trailer. Together, they disposed of 1,750 pounds of old tires and reused about 1,000 pounds of lumber!

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all the students who participated!

The One Planet Student Challenge and Celebration Event demonstrates how organizations and local youth are finding ways to connect and imagine solutions to build a ‘One Planet’ world.

Quick facts

  • The One Planet Celebration Event and the Student Challenge build on the work of One Planet Saanich and One Planet BC, which brings together organizations across the region to take action on sustainability using the ‘One Planet Living’ approach.
  • One Planet Living is a sustainability framework that uses ten principles developed by UK-based NGO Bioregional, as a lens for action. 
  • The 10 One Planet Principles focus on health and happiness, zero carbon energy, sustainable food and zero waste.
  • Combined with carbon and ecological footprint priorities, these principles ensure that we meet broader objectives, like achieving equity in our communities.
  • This One Planet Living approach is being used worldwide – by individuals, businesses and communities.
  • Locally, non-profit OneEarth leads One Planet Saanich and One Planet BC as part of the global One Planet Cities initiative.
  • The One Planet BC community includes a wide diversity of organizations, from schools, churches, and small businesses to commercial companies.
  • The One Planet Living Framework was used to develop Saanich’s Climate Plan.

Learn more

To get involved locally with One Planet Living visit One Planet BC.


Media contacts:

One Earth
Cora Hallsworth
Senior Associate/ One Planet Saanich Project Lead

City of Victoria
Bill Eisenhauer
Head of Engagement

District of Saanich
Rebecca Newlove
Manager of Sustainability