Jack Layton Award | Honourable Mention
Our vision for Canada is to be a country of environmentally conscientious people. We want Canada to become a leading and proactive country regarding environmental issues. Our project aims to reduce the amount of waste produced in our school. This is an important issue in today’s society because as the population grows and people continue their consumption patterns, pollution will become a greater issue in our lives. Already we see oceans and lands consumed by pollution. As a community at St. Mary’s, we feel it is important to limit our waste. It is our hope that by creating this project, we spark a conversation and action within our school community so that people realise what steps they could take to limit their waste production.
As a club at St. Mary’s Academy, we purchased compostable plates for our cafeteria. Our plan was to kickstart the use of compostable plates. Given the funds, we would purchase plates for our school cafeteria, Nephelie’s, that is run independently. This would prompt them to continue to use compostable plates for coming years. After doing a school-wide survey, we also showed Nephelie’s that our school community prefers compostable plates compared to styrofoam even with an added $0.25 for fries. Doing a survey created conversation among students, teachers and our Green Team club. After presenting the idea to students, frequent comments were about the styrofoam melting, carcinogenic and biodegradation. All topics were beneficial for our action plan. Our project also provoked thought within students. Students were encouraged to brainstorm others ways in which they can reduce their footprint. Overall, this project was largely run by students in our club. We were in charge of going class to class to do surveys, researching information on compostable plates, coordinating and communicating with the school cafeteria and administration, counting plates and running several waste awareness activities such as a waste-free lunch (with prizes) and a brainstorming bulletin and table outside our cafeteria.