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COASTAL LIVING: Club aims to teach students about environment

With the assistance of non-profit electronic recycling program ElectroRecycle, students from Departure Bay Elementary School’s Eco-Club raised money for school environmental initiatives at the Regional Recycling Nanaimo Saturday. From left, Rachel Crawford, Ellie Stokoe, Billy Whelan, Alicia Garside, Angelina Boxrud, Taylor MacDonald, Sam Hynninen, Lucas Lavalee, Luke Lukyn and Reid Schellinck. - KARL YU/The News Bulletin
With the assistance of non-profit electronic recycling program ElectroRecycle, students from Departure Bay Elementary School’s Eco-Club raised money for school environmental initiatives at the Regional Recycling Nanaimo Saturday. From left, Rachel Crawford, Ellie Stokoe, Billy Whelan, Alicia Garside, Angelina Boxrud, Taylor MacDonald, Sam Hynninen, Lucas Lavalee, Luke Lukyn and Reid Schellinck.
— image credit: KARL YU/The News Bulletin

Students at Departure Bay Elementary School are in the process of getting an environmental club off the ground.

Initiated last November, the Departure Bay Elementary School Eco-Club seeks to promote green initiatives to the student body and the overall aim is to become an eco-school. It is a cause that many students are eager to join and the response has been amazing, according to principal Lisa Frey.

When the eco-club idea was pitched to the students, 50 joined out of a student population of about 180 and the numbers continue to grow.

The club is also coming up with a number initiatives.

“We have a program we’re involved in right now called Destination Conservation,” Frey said. “So we’re working really hard to do things around our school to learn about sustainability and how to have a sustainable school, which I know spills over into their homes. They’ve been really interested in that.”

The school has even started up the green bin food scraps collection program at the school.

“We’ve done quite a few projects,” said student Cassidy Sharman. “We planted plants in pop bottles for Earth Day and we did Trash to Treasure. The [Grade] 6/7 students cleaned up Departure Bay beach and we made sculptures and stuff out of the garbage we collected [and] recycled materials and we had a big art gallery walk.”

Sharman said the club is also working toward an “hour of no power,” where the school will turn off all its lights and computers in order to determine how much power is saved.

“We want to keep the environment clean and healthy so we have a place to live and our animals still have a place to live and keep the Earth safe so we still have the proper oxygen and clean air we need to breathe,” said Sharman.

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