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Varsity Acres - 2013

Team Name: Les Équipes Vertes

Campaign Goal:

Once the Enviro Group was formed, students where asked to identify what aspect of conservation interested them most. ‘Water’ issues interested some and others were interested by ‘energy’ and ‘waste’. Following this discussion, three green teams of six students were formed: one for a Lights out noon program, another for litterless lunch campaign and the last for paper waste. Following their investigation the students believed that we needed to inform parents of our green actions at school and ask for their support as well as the teachers’ and students’. They also wanted to have more fun green-activities for the students to show them that you could make many beautiful things out of recycled materials and that recycling was actually fun! Our goals were to have a lasting impact on our immediate environment, bring environmental awareness beyond the school grounds and maintain a high level of participation from the school community




What did we do?

  • The Lights Out crew subdivided into 3 groups monitoring classrooms every day and tallying the results at the end of the month. They awarded the ‘Trophy’ at the monthly assembly.
  • The Litterless Lunch crew also subdivided in 3 teams alternating every day, giving tickets to students having a liter less lunch and drawing six winners at the monthly assembly. They later received a small prize for their efforts.
  • The waste crew continued recuperating the one-sided photocopy sheets to make notepads, which were then sold every Thursday noon for five cents. Moneys raised will be donated to ‘War Child Canada’ at the end of the year.
  • Two students approached the administration with a plan to create Enviroman’s Green Corner in the school’s monthly electronic newsletter. They sometimes found meeting the deadline a challenge.
  • We enlisted the talents of our music teacher, the Glee Club and Hand Bell Club to create the April 22nd Green Assembly!


The Best Part

Our Christmas recycled crafts workshop with the grade ones and twos, recycled paper notepad sales and April 22nd Earth Day assembly and the following Enviro week activities!


Advice

We found that using a permanent marker to put names and classroom numbers on the young students’ lunch containers really helped having fewer containers lost, and encouraged parent to participate more in litterless lunch because containers were returning home regularly. If you wish to do crafts throughout the year, ask parents to send any materials that could be used for crafts (hold Christmas or birthday cards, old jewelry, tinsels, cans, etch). This way, if you want to do crafts activities with a greater number of classrooms you could do so. Having a green corner in the news letter has a great impact but if you are alone to direct your club’s activities you definitely need another staff member to help with the editing and posting of the material written by the students, since it can be time consuming and it will help in making the print deadline.


Did We Reach our Goal?

The club members became more engaged and better informed. We observed greater environmental awareness in some staff members and greater daily student participation and enthusiasm for our activities! We have observed garbage reduction from litterless lunch and our student population more readily and regularly pick garbage of the playground = neater grounds! We gave away over six hundred notepads to the students and staff at Halloween and have sold close to 30$ worth of 20 pages notepads. We were able to include the grade fours garage sale in our enviro week; they made a profit of 850$ selling secondhand toys and books donated by the students! Through our music teacher’s efforts all the students learned songs in their music class that taught them some facts about the environment!


What we are most proud of

Personally, I am proud that except for one student the entire environment club were very committed and participated enthusiastically in our weekly noontime activities! I am proud that with minimum support they were able to implement projects for the school community. I am proud that our yearly green activities are getting rooted in the school culture (lights out, litterless lunch, paper recycling). Teachers noticed that some ‘shy’ students had developed more self-confidence and the ability to present themselves to an audience. Parents were pleased with the craft their child brought home at Christmas. Some staff and other clubs (like math club) encouraged our environment members by regularly purchasing notepads. Staff, administration and parents said that this year’s Green day assembly was the best they had seen in many years!


What we are planning to work on next


Additional Info

I would like to recognize the parent volunteers who allow us to come to DC workshops and all the DC staff that inspire us and allow us to be successful in our endeavors to form young citizens that are environmentally conscious and passionate for change!


Other Campaigns

We would like to work towards having more staff actively involved with the club, having greater overall participation in our green week activities (poster contest, Enviroman’s clothing, each day Green day Phys. Ed video, etc) and throughout the year. As well as integrating more technology (example: student creating awareness videos for the assembly and expanding our Enviroman’s corner in the newsletter. I really would like to find a way to print our Enviroman Logo on tee shirts so that it becomes a living symbol of our club! We would love to have a weekend outdoor activity and be able to paint the ‘Yellow Fish’ in our Varsity neighborhood