The 21 grade 2 and 3 students in Ms Belyea’s class at Signal Hill challenged their entire school last week, to go garbage-free for lunch, as part of the BC Green Games.
You can show them how much we appreciate their energy by voting for them at the Green Games page before March 15.
It literally takes one second, and you don’t need to enter any personal information!
It’s awesome to read about how much energy the students put into inspiring and transforming the world.
After much brainstorming, it was determined that Tavish’s suggestion of having his dad come to install solar panels on the roof of the school was a project just out of our reach. Not to be outdone, Riley proposed that we convert all of the school’s buses into electric vehicles. The classes excitement was palpable! Luckily, we ultimately decided on a more budget-friendly course of action and decided to challenge our school to a week of garbage free lunches. The future of our planet depends on the decisions we make every day and we love our planet!
The students made posters and gave presentations to every class in the school, urging students to recycle and compost and to make the conscious decision to pack foods that didn’t make garbage.
Some families used the challenge as an opportunity to make their own bars instead of buying packaged ones! Other families made the choice to pack different kinds of snacks, reducing or altogether eliminating garbage.
Each class collected its garbage each day, so that Ms Belyea’s class could audit the bags, to collect the data, and tally up how much garbage each class had made.
As the week went on, we observed students bringing less and less garbage to school. We had successfully engaged the school, created awareness, and were now seeing the fruits of our labour! Even if the Pemberton Grocery Store’s donation of a free pizza lunch party for the classes with the least amount of garbage at the end of the week was a factor, our findings were indisputable. Families, teachers and students had come together to reduce the amount of garbage coming to school. We had the data to back us up that as a school, we can have a great impact on the environment!
Over the course of the week we had tracked 16 classes, which totaled approximately 355 students, plus staff, who participated in our challenge. We determined that altogether we had collected 517 pieces of garbage, which translates to less than 1.5 pieces of garbage per student for the whole week.
We were more than pleasantly surprised to see that we had also initiated other lasting impacts; as a result of our challenge, the hot lunch team stopped using saran wrap to wrap lunches! And as Recycling Superstars, we have refused to fizzle out and end our project here! We have kept all of the soft plastic that our school does not currently recycle to collect data on it, and bring it to the facility ourselves for now, with the goal of implementing a soft plastic recycling program here at our school.
We hope to continue to reduce our overall garbage output as a school. We are proud to have stirred such an awareness of the environment needing our help and of the results of our day to day decisions. Hot lunches will now be delivered without saran wrap, families will continue to make choices that make less garbage, we will continue to recycle and compost as well as advocate to have soft plastic recycled at our school. The Recycling Superstars will continue to leave their mark on Signal Hill Elementary School! Next up, We will organize a school wide garbage pick-up in your neighborhood once the snow melts.