The students decided to buy compostable bags from a Canadian Company (Refresh Packaging) and sell to the school community. With the money from the sales, the plan was to implement compost bins into the classrooms and use the compost created to build a butterfly garden at the front of the school.
The students wanted to address a pollution issue, and had originally wanted to eliminate plastic bags. However, since this is already something our city has been scaling down on, they decided on ziplock/sandwich bags.
They had trouble finding bags that did not need to be composted industrially, but they eventually came upon Refresh, and they are happy with the product.
Since we have about 350 students in our school, most of whom stay for lunch, the goal was to eliminate plastic while simultaneously bringing insects to our area.
The class divided up into groups and worked on the project based their strengths. Firstly, they came up with a company name – Centennial Greenables.
They created a website to promote the bags as well as their mission, they created a few social media accounts which include their custom logo, they have created advertising (posters, commercials), and the research team has done a great job researching the impacts of plastic in our province as well as the benefits and specifics of composting.
The cost of each bag was about $0.43, so the students decided to recoup their costs with very little profit. They decided that it would be harder to sell the bags if they charged too much, and the ultimate goal for their project was to help the environment, not make money. Although, they do need the money to buy compost bins and flowers, they figured that the original $500 would be a good start for all that. So, they decided to sell the bags at 5 for $3 or 10 for $5.
Reflection & Celebration
Unfortunately, we have been at a standstill for the last couple months, due to our custodian being away and waiting on the School Division to approve the compost bins. In the meantime, the students have created their advertising and have decided on the price we will sell the bags once we know if the students purchasing can dispose of them at school or if they need to take them home. They have also, as mentioned previously, created a logo, social media accounts, and an order form so that we can sell as soon as we hear of the Division’s decision. Either way, the students will sell their bags before the end of the school year – the question is whether or not we will have compost bins to put them in. They will also use some of the remaining funds from our grant to plant a pollinator flower garden at the front of the school.
The students are proud of their action plan, and when given the time to work on it, they spend every ounce of energy they have to make it perfect. They are a little disappointed with the slow process of getting approval from the School Division, since approval from our administration was immediate.