Eco Warriors lead successful Earth Week at Prep

Upper Canada College’s Eco Warriors made Prep students and faculty members more aware of their impact on the environment during a variety of Earth Week activities.
The nine Year 6 students meet with Prep science teaching assistant (and club supervisor and organizer) Sydney Frank once a week to share their ideas, interests and concerns about the environment while brainstorming ways in which they can get involved around the school.
“Our Eco Warriors this year are very invested in planting and gardening, so we have been working around cleaning and adding to our small greenhouse,” says Frank.
An April 16 assembly for students in Years 3 through 7 introduced boys to Earth Week, and student presenters spoke about some of the major threats facing biodiversity, including climate change and animals that are at risk. They also spoke about why they wanted to collect donations for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) during Earth Week, which ran from April 23 to 26.
That fundraising collected $220 which, when combined with proceeds from colouring book sales earlier in the school year, amounted to a $450 donation to the WWF. Details are still being worked out, but the hope is to put the money towards Canadian species such as polar bears, lynx and grey wolves.
Each day of Earth Week had a different theme. They were:
  • Tofu Tuesday, where Aramark staff provided meatless lunches and students were encouraged to bring meatless meals from home;
  • Water-wise Wednesday, where low water-needing plants such as succulents and cacti were sold for five dollars each, and students and teachers gained colour house points by showing their reusable water bottles at the morning check-in near Bitove Lounge;
  • Thermostat Thursday, where the temperature of the Prep was lowered a couple of degrees to help save on energy consumption;
  • andFree from Food-waste Friday, where Aramark staff provided smaller portions, and there was a friendly competition between Primary and Middle Division classes to see who could produce the least amount of lunch food waste.
All week, both students and teachers earned points for their colour house by travelling to school in an environmentally friendlier way such as by walking, bicycling or taking public transit, and by checking in with the Eco Warriors in the morning near Bitove Lounge.
Classes also participated in an optional campus clean-up by picking up garbage around the school.
I think the Eco Warriors had a really enjoyable time planning for the week and executing the activities,” says Frank. “There was a lot of work and planning done over the many weeks before, so I’m sure they were very proud of all their hard work and how it turned out.
“They were able to be creative when making posters, and had the opportunity to do research and write some blurbs for the assembly and newsletter. I think they enjoyed sharing their knowledge in class with their friends. And they definitely liked running the eco-transit morning check-in for house points, and the responsibility that came with it.”
Frank says Earth Week seemed to particularly raise awareness with boys in the younger Primary grades, who were more involved with its eco-transit aspect and the campus clean-up. Their classes also raised the most money for the WWF.
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