The old saying goes “reduce, reuse and recycle.” In times of environmental crisis, these three simple words are an excellent guide to live by. Unfortunately, people tend to focus solely on the latter of the three, completely disregarding the importance of reducing and reusing. In the public’s scramble to recycle anything and everything possible, it’s commonly forgotten that the easiest and most effective way to reduce the world’s carbon foot print is to decrease the amount of material taken in and used. This year, we, the Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School Greenhorns focused our attention on waste reduction and informing the Corpus Christi student body on how to be a master of the three word mantra reduce, reuse and recycle.
We kicked off the year with Waste Reduction Week. Old electronics and clothing were collected and litterless lunch raffles were drawn. Just over 2.6 tonnes of electronics were diverted from landfill (that’s almost two minivans worth) and properly recycled, while over 250 garbage bags of clothing donated to a local charity.
The spring is always full of big green events in the Corpus Christi community. We turned off hallway lights for a week in March. We teamed up with the school social justice group, Students 4 Students, to collaborate on the project called “Trash Art.” Students painted the school recycling bins in an effort to showcase not only their own artistic abilities, but to remind their peers of the presence of these bins and why it’s so important to use them.
The spring culminated in our hosting of a school wide cleanup. We also cleaned up our neighbouring creek. Televisions, construction waste — even a hot tub cover — were pulled from the creek.
As a year draws to a close, we continue to work on our outdoor classroom and teaching our peers the importance of waste reduction. In our quest to save the environment, the Greenhorns find truth in the words of Lao Tzu, “Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
About this guest blogger:
Hi! I’m Melissa Zangao, a grade 11 student at Corpus Christi Secondary School. I’m a member of the school environmental team, the Greenhorns. I’m passionate about environmental issues and getting students involved in the eco-initiatives at the school.