The Three R's

The Watson Wildcats

Watson Elementary
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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At Watson Elementary, the Grade 5 and 6 students of divisions 23 and 24 began the year studying the natural resources of BC and Canada. They learned about sustainability and the need to conserve resources wherever possible. During a group discussion, it was decided that they would undertake a campaign to promote ‘The Three Rs’ at our school: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

The first R is to reduce. The Grade 5 students discussed different possible ways to reduce the amount of resources that we use is school. The first idea was to save energy. As such the students went around the school reminding classes to turn their lights off when not in the class and they ensured that the outside doors were not left open during the coldest days this winter. Another idea they had was to cut down on the use of paper in the school, so they created an awareness campaign to remind students and staff where our paper comes from and to remind them all not to waste it. They were very successful in reducing the amount of wasted resources used at our school.

The second R is to reuse. Again, a couple different ideas were decided upon by our team. We talked about the damage that one-use plastic containers have been causing our environment. Disposable water bottles are a very harmful item that can be easily replaced with water bottles that can be reused many more times. Single use plastic bags in lunches for snacks, sandwiches, and treats are other items that create a lot of unnecessary waste. We discussed how using reusable containers in place of single use plastic bags and bottles is an easy an effective way to reduce plastic waste at our school. The Grade 5 and 6 students made posters for other classes encouraging the use of reusable water bottles and food storage items, created a newsletter to go home to parents, and even made school wide announcements to encourage all the students and staff at the school to make smarter choices by using reusable containers for food and drinks.

The third and final R is to recycle. Let’s be honest, the use of paper, plastic, and single use containers like juice boxes is never going to be entirely eliminated in any school. At least not until alternative solutions are more widely embraced by our country and society. Our team did our best to promote reducing and reusing, but we also accepted that resources where still going to be used. Therefore, we decided that creating a recycling club at our school was a very important part of our ‘Three Rs’ campaign. The Grade 5 and 6 students brought recycling bins to classes for juice boxes, paper, and plastic waste. They educated their fellow students on what could be recycled and where each type of item should be put. They collected, sorted, and returned the recyclable material weekly. Not only did they decrease the amount of garbage generated by our school, but they were able to raise money to help purchase water bottles for students who couldn’t afford to buy their own.

The Watson Wildcats have done an excellent job educating their fellow students, their families, and even their teachers on the importance of sustainability and the conservation of resources through ‘The Three Rs’.