It’s easy being green at Lady Evelyn 

24. IMG_Earth day Ananda.jpeg 25. IMG_Earth Day KIM AND KIDSMEREDITH NEWBERRY 

This year Lady Evelyn Alternative School’s annual fundraising efforts turned a new leaf. A big new green leaf. Parent council closed the chapter on its annual book sale and created a community Earth Day Festival instead. The event raised $2,000 and brought hundreds of people to the school on April 21. 

The Festival encouraged the community to think twice about the items in their home and where they can go when no longer useful. Whether it was collecting electronic waste, or providing a booth for others to swap their used toys or clothes, Lady Evelyn modelled the behaviour that helps reduce waste and encourages recycling.  

Grade 1 and 2 students sold seedlings that they planted. The month-long endeavour both taught the kids how to grow plants and also gave the community the opportunity to buy the plants for their own herb garden. 

Kids could play any of the games, create eco-crafts, make their own no-waste birdfeeders, or weave flowers in an outdoor loom.  Most kids and parents were happy to hit up the bake sale and take part in the free coffee with a reusable mug offering too. 

“Lady Evelyn’s Earth Day event was a huge success! In many ways, the event represented what, as an alternative school, we strive to exhibit every day,” said Ananda Kelly, a parent council volunteer at the school. “Our family and community-centered school environment was so absolutely evident in the coming together and contributions of teachers, staff, students, parents and extended community.”  

What a Waste 

Part of the waste problem that still continues in 2018 is that consumers either don’t dispose of waste properly or are using materials that don’t easily break down. A display at the school shows everyday items in just about every OOE home and the time it takes for each item to break down. Here’s what you can do to help the environment every day, not just on Earth Day. 

  • It takes a plastic bag 500 years to decompose underground. Bring your own bags to the store, or shop bulk with your own containers. 
  • Clothing can take 20-50 years to break down in landfill. Those nylon athletic pants you’ve needed an excuse to get rid of – pass them along to a thrift shop instead of tossing them in the garbage. 
  • It takes just a few weeks for compost to break down. The City picks up compost every week and with just a few changes in your garbage habits you could reduce the weight of your garbage bag by half. 
  • It takes 1000 years for electronics to decompose. Imagine that the iPad you toss out today could still be sitting in landfill when your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandkids are around.  Instead, take it to an e-waste facility or fundraising program like the one Lady Evelyn organized. 
  • Avoid Styrofoam! Ottawa doesn’t recycle Styrofoam so it sits in landfill after just a single use. If you get take-out ask if they use Styrofoam and if you can bring your own containers.  

 

 

 

 

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Filed in: Education, Front Page

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