Grades 5-6 students created a company called R3USE, inspired by the 3 Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle. With a focus on the Lower Saint Lawrence, they are learning about the environment and living creatures, educating their entourage and creating eco-friendly products sold at local markets.


Grades 5-6 students created a company called R3USE, inspired by the 3 Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle. With a focus on the Lower Saint Lawrence, they are learning about the environment and living creatures, educating their entourage and creating eco-friendly products sold at local markets.
In a world where global warming and environmental issues are constantly in the news, our youth is concerned. At times even anxious! They need to feel that they are doing something positive for the Earth. They need to feel that they can somehow help. Last year the grades 5-6 students took on the challenge to help our bees. They worked hard and created a bee-friendly pollinator corridor near the school. Their wildflowers bloomed! It was a positive and rewarding experience! At the beginning of the school year, they collected and dried the flowers. They also collected the seeds. Their goal was to find some way to use what they collected. They are inspired and truly motivated.

For the last four years the grade 5-6 class have been taking part in outdoor learning and focussing on the importance of bees, wildlife and plants to the circle of life. This year the class wanted to continue to work on educating the population and making them aware of the need for sustainability and eco-friendly decisions. Their main motivation comes from the fact that if all the bees die, we will have about 4 years to live because we need bees for most of our food. They are worried about what the future holds.

The students want to teach people what winter sowing is and how to do it, show them how to make seed bombs and explain their utility, explain which plants to use for a pollinator garden or corridor and educate the community about the wildlife living nearby and what we can do to protect our environment. They want the community to do more composting, create less pollution by recycling and reusing products (like transforming egg cartons into plantable gift tags and cards), and continuing to honour No Mow May to help save the bees.

In September, the students started the project by making seed bombs. They spent time researching the history behind this product and found ways to promote their creation. The class wanted to start a business to raise money to go and sleep with the wolves at the BioParc. By going to the Bioparc they are hoping to learn more about animals from our region, their survival and adaptations.

The students thought about the Earth and the environment and wanted to make and use recycable products. They made wooden coasters, wooden bookmarks with dried flowers from last year’s pollinator corridor, wooden picture frames with sea glass, lamps made from wooden pegs which had been donated. The students went to the Marche de Noel at Carrefour Rimouski and the local Christmas market to offer eco-friendly gifts and to educate consumers about the use and importance of seed bombs. A video was made and shared on the school social media, and instructions on how and why to use seed bombs were written in English and in French. They also contacted the Reford Gardens to get seeds to help promote pollinator plants, ensuring plants native to our region.

In Art Class, grade 5-6 are making prints of regional wildlife which will then be sold with information about the animal, habitat, why we should protect them and what they eat written, bilingually, on the back. They are also experimenting with making paper from recycled goods and adding seeds collected last fall to create plantable gift tags and cards. The class have been winter sowing to have plants ready for people to start a pollinator garden late spring. They are making a step-to-step video to show the community what to do and to educate them about this technique. They will host a garage sale, in the spring, to encourage people not to buy new things all the time.

The students want people to care more. Not just the school community, but all the neighboring towns and villages and especially their generation who can help them to become game changers. Why do we need to care more? As Lucas, a student, said “If people learn more about the environment, they will care more and want to help protect it.”
Since we started the pollinator corridor and NO Mow May project a few years ago, the grade 5-6 students are much more aware of the impact that they have, and can have on their environment and communities.
They take care to recycle and compost and try to find uses for things before throwing them out. Whenever they have finished their work they are asking to work on the project: shredding paper, planting seeds, making promotional videos or leaflets and finding ways to educate and inspire others to do the same.
They are knowledgeable about native wild flowers, insects and their needs and other creatures living in our region. They are learning for a sustainable future and are already able to grow plants in the snow, know what plants grow the best and how to choose plants that do not need a lot of human input. In the Summer, no one is around to water the plants in the pollinator corridor, so they researched seed bombs and low maintenance native flowers, herbs and shrubs.
The class is highly motivated and involved and enjoy working together as a team. To begin with their motivation was to raise money to go on an end of year trip to sleep with the wolves at the Bioparc in Bonaventure. Although this is still motivating, the idea of teaching others and working together as a generation to improve their environment and impact its’ sustainability, mainly by caring for the bees and other pollinators.
They built on many entrepreneurial characteristics, notably creativity, motivation, perseverance. Some student’s leadership qualities shone and the passion of many was fed. They learnt the importance of listening to their customer’s and adjusted their way of selling and prices. We had two different entrepreneurs come into the class to talk to them about setting up a business and this impacted their motivation and desire to persevere. They realised that they need to work hard, together, to be able to achieve their goals.
“We are working hard and persevering. It is a fun experience to be helping the Earth and to make it eco-friendly. The project helps us to understand that the problem is serious, and we need to do something.” Raphael, 12.
“We can teach others how to help save animals’ habitats and persuade them to make changes like us.” Josh, 12.
“Cooperation and teamwork were difficult at times, but we learnt how to better communicate, and it was worth it!” Dave, 13.
“We are a grade 5-6 class, but we can and are making a difference. We are all important in this team.” Alicia 12.
“Saving bees and pollinators could save the world. We have to act now.” Dalia, 11.
This project went beyond the students. First, their parents and family members are totally supporting the students. We saw towns encouraging people not to mow their lawns in the last two years and are sure that this year the message will be to plant and appreciate native plants and wildflowers.

Through social media and local markets, the students are sharing their projects with the larger community. As was done for the No Mow May and save the bees project, they are planning on contacting the local journalist, so that their message can reach even more people in the region. Many people did not know what seed bombs were and what they are for. We are looking forward to seeing the results of these products around the school.
Pollinator corridors look attractive and vibrant, but we are hoping to encourage more people to let wildflowers grow and add them to their yards, instead of mowing the lawns all the time. By next year our aim is to have community members adopting our method of winter sowing and caring more for our environment.

Reflection & Celebration

The students are proud of this project because they have worked hard and are making a change in their communities by caring for the environment. They are happy to teach other people and share their knowledge so that they too can start helping pollinators and looking forward to a more sustainable future.
They are concerned about the planet and know that their generation must take action. They hope to inspire other schools and communities to make eco-friendly products that promote the survival of living things in our environment.
By using an entrepreneurial approach, the students are learning hands-on, adapting to change and understanding that it takes hard work, determination and motivation to make a difference.


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