Trash Transformers

How do you create connections out of used pizza boxes, soup cans, and plastic wrap?


A group of 13 students at Robert Bateman Secondary School can tell you. 

A few months ago, the 2015 Robert Bateman Secondary School (RBSS) BC Green Games Team transformed a pile of garbage into an opportunity to mentor elementary school students in running a highly effective waste audit.  The RBSS Green Team has since conducted a composting, gardening, and anti-idling campaign at their own school and continues to share their inspiring story of environmental change using digital eco-storytelling.

In December 2014, the Green Team at Robert Bateman Secondary School decided to share their passion for effecting environmental change by visiting Godson Elementary School, leading stations at a workshop for the younger students, and assisting them in conducting a waste audit.  “I noticed the kids’ excitement for recycling, composting, and reusing [items], reminding us why we are promoting a healthy earth,” said a RBSS Green Team member when asked about mentoring the elementary school students. 

The waste audit and workshops were so successful that the students managed to divert about 95% of waste and received news coverage for their success.  These initiatives were possible through an amazing collaboration of environmental leaders in the Abbotsford community.  Sarah Bacon (RBSS Science Department Coordinator and Teacher Leader for the BC Green Games) was an organizer and a mobilizing source of leadership for her students.  BC Green Games Community Coaches, Julianne Pickrell (Abbotsford School District Energy Specialist); and Laura Bamsey (Director of Programs) and team at Destination Conservation, were key organizers of the projects and providers of eco-wisdom.

In addition to mentoring the Godson Elementary students, the RBSS Green Team has an on-going compost collection program and school beautification program – rain or shine.  While planting bulbs for the school beautification program, there was a sudden downpour of rain.  "And you would think that would make things unbearable, but it did the opposite.  I had tons of fun and was laughing pretty much the whole time,” said a RBSS Green Team member. 

The RBSS Green Team’s most recent environmental project is an anti-idle campaign at their school.  As one of the Green Team members puts it, “We want to reduce our carbon footprint by idling less.  I hope we are able to impact just one person enough to change their ways, because that is all we need for this to be worth it.”  And they have.  The RBSS Green Team has seen a significant reduction in idling during school pick up and drop offs, and has acquired quite a following through their social media campaigns.

Robert Bateman Secondary School BC Green Games Team Members include Emeralde, Zac, Imran, Clara, Mikayla, Sally, Hanna, Aubrie, Karleen, Lara,Vanessa, Brayden and Ken.

You can learn more about their inspiring eco-action story by visiting them on twitter (@greenteamrbss) or facebook.