Willow Point Elementary School students hoped their environmentally friendly practices would encourage others to think about the environment – in the process, they won $1,500.
Clea Adair’s Grade 1/2 split class starred in and developed a video showcasing their school’s eco-actions and submitted it to the BC Green Games, Science World’s province-wide contest that rewards students for their contributions to the environment.
Willow Point’s video was selected, out of 139 entries, by a panel of environmental experts as one of 10 elementary school winners. It also won the $500 elementary viewer’s choice award, on top of the big $1,000 prize.
The video featured all the projects the students have been working on this year.
The school composts every day and students from Adair’s class go from classroom to classroom collecting compostable items that are turned into dirt for the chickens on Adair’s farm. The students have even paid a visit to their teacher’s farm to watch the chickens feed off their composting efforts.
“I’ve been taking the school’s compost, which is about 60 litres a week, and putting it in the chicken field for them to eat,” says Adair. “It now makes up half the food bill for the chickens.”
Adair said one morning, she used the eggs her chickens laid to make pancakes for the class. Being able to physically see the process has helped the students in her class learn the chicken cycle, which is explained by the students in their video.
“We’re taking care of the earth and trying to reduce our ecological footprint,” says Adair, who even has the class turn off the lights whenever possible to save electricity.
And going green has paid off.
“The school’s janitor told me we’ve decreased our garbage output by half through the school’s recycling and composting programs,” says Adair.
The entire school recycles all paper, plastic, metal, milk cartons and juice boxes. Adair’s class even uses recyclables for their art projects.
“We use paper from other classes if it’s only been used on one-side,” says Adair. “If the paper’s not recycled, we don’t do art.”
When the students found out stuffed animals cannot be recycled, they started a teddy bear exchange. The kids brought their old stuffies to school to trade with a friend to promote one of the three R’s – reuse. Adair even took all the teddies home to her farm and stuck them in a freezer for a week to ensure no germs were spread.
The students say the whole point of entering the contest was to show everyone how green their school is and to inspire other schools to take up the cause.