Everybody Wants a Cup

King George Earth Club

King George Secondary
  • Grade 9
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 


Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?: 


With the City of Vancouver looking to ban the use of single use cups and straws by 2019 our students want to lead this charge by changing student habits starting this September. The main focus of their first project is to order and issue student designed re-useable cups for every student and staff in the school.
Through education and public service type announcements in school, our environmental leaders hope to empower personal responsibility. This aligns with the First Peoples' Ecosystem based Management System studied by students in their curriculum. The student body will be educated to see the importance of taking the time to clean their mugs and use them to their favorite spot, whether it be 7-11, Blenz, Starbucks or McDonalds. To choose A&W over Burger King, for example, as A&W Canada has announced a switch to paper straw use. To consider bringing their own clean tuperware containers for takeout. 
The small team of students have already raised $600 since the start of September to fund sustainable events and projects like this in the school.This was done through the hard work of students with bake sales and selling usable bags at craft fairs. They have also recieved a VSB 2019 Sustainability grant of $1,000 for this project. They already received an official deal from Blendz on Denman that offers 15% off when you use a reusable cup, and plan on talking to more companies over the break. Official letters have been sent out and we hope to hear their replys soon. Cups have already been designed and are used in the photos as the new resusble alternative to single use cups. The environmental group will host challenges throughout the year to foster a shift in sustainable thinking.
The hope is that this grassroots idea will spur further significant sustainable habit changes. Opportunities through out the coming years may target other major sustainable gluts - technology for example.

Single use cups and straws and the environmental impact they are having on our landfills and waterways. The students have taken great interest and passion in helping solve these problems. We plan to get the rest of the school just as invested into sustainability as the club members are. We have already made ourselves known in the community to both residents and companies. Communicating and discussing solutions have brought us closer as a community. 

Close relationship with the Oceanwise program out of the Vancouver Aquarium to work with them on their education initiatives both locally and globally. We are located several blocks from the aquarium and a unique partnership with the oceanwise program allows for a collaborative effort that amplifies the efforts of either group.

Secondary School Winner
Green Grants