- Grade 4
- Grade 5
Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?:
Grade 4/5 students from division 3 at Lord Kelvin Elementary School (The Plastic Eliminators) came to the realization that they themselves are contributing to our global climate crisis by using single-use plastics everyday of their lives and wanted to do something about it. Inspired by this realization, we invited a group of members from the Century House senior centre to show students how to reuse a t-shirt and make a reusable grocery bag. We put a call out to the community to donate t-shirts so students could make and sell these t-shirt bags at the school. We received an overwhelming response and to date have picked up 200 plus t-shirts.
Students also watched several videos and saw first hand the consequences of using single-use plastics, specifically plastic bags on animals, sea-life, humans and the world. Students were more than motivated to do something, so they decided to do a fundraiser in the school to sell the t-shirt bags and decided collectively with the money they collected to buy each student in the school a reusable container for their lunches.
Soon after we began making the bags, we discovered the BC Greens Games competition and knew it would be a great place to show case our project. The Plastic Eliminators were one of the early-bird winners and received a class set of awesome reusable cloth snack bags, which furthered our ideas of what we could do with the t-shirts.
Students have decided to sell the t-shirt bags to the school and the wider community. Our local newspaper came and interviewed the students about the project. In addition to making t-shirt bags with the t-shirt, students decided to use the leftover material from the t-shirts to make cloth reusable snack bags and white board erasers to give to the students at their school.
The Plastic Eliminators faced many challenges along the way. Students broke up into smaller groups: technology, essay writing, research, fundraising, and publicity. During the process, students had to work together and strategize effective use of time and who would lead what. Of course, there were disagreements along the way. Students learned how to problem solve, work together, team build, filter through online articles, and have fun while actually making an impact and solving a real-world crisis.
Although it is difficult to measure the initial impact of selling the t-shirt bags and using cloth snack bags directly on the environment, the reduction of plastic use will ultimately reduce carbon emissions in our air thus reducing health problems.
Students promoted their fundraising of the t-shirt bags in several ways: school announcements both on our school Television Show twice per week, our school Radio Broadcast show each day, posters in each classroom around the school, and word of mouth. As well, an article will be published in the coming week in our local newspaper sharing our story and our fundraising efforts. In addition, our fundraiser and project will be tweeted, put on Instagram and Facebook to spread the word.
Future plans include: selling the t-shirt bags, making more t-shirts bags, making snack bags and white board erasers. There is also talk about selling the bags to the wider community, so hopefully the newspaper article and social media blurbs we are planning will help with this venture! You never know, you may see The Plastic Eliminators in a grocery store selling their wares near you.