17 April, 2015 – On a sunny Friday afternoon, WCI’s Eco team and various volunteers spent their lunch hour scouring school grounds and the Pine Street sidewalks for garbage.
Equipped with gloves and large plastic bags for recyclables and trash, the students cleaned the back field, front area, and Pine Street. They dug underneath bushes, unearthing empty Tim Hortons cups and yanked forgotten styrofoam containers from the fence. Although they half-jokingly scoffed at the copious amounts of litter, and even laughed at the more peculiar garbage found, the end result was a grim reminder that we should all be doing our part to keep Weston clean.
These cleanups are a well-established annual activity, except this time the club has decided to register with Toronto’s ‘School Clean-up Day’ program to further establish the weight of their cleanups.
“Even though a lot of us who signed up didn’t come, those who do care came out and it was awesome.” Eco Team’s current president, Rizeena Khan, says, “No one complained, we just did what we had to do and that was great.”
WCI’s Eco Team has been doing a great job establishing a popular eco-friendly attitude throughout Weston. In light of Earth Day and Earth Hour, they have hosted various events to encourage students in bringing waste-free lunches, and reminding teachers to turn off their lights whenever possible. Their intensely successful Battery Bake Sale and aluminium water bottle sale has only further helped in maintaining a Gold Rank in Ontario Eco Schools. The team truly deserves this award — the smell from waste audits can be unforgiving.
The Eco Team hopes to further expand their cleanups, perhaps reaching out to the garbage on Weston and Lawrence in all its glory, or perhaps even working down to the Humber River. Later this spring, their annual WCI beautification process will begin as the team will plant various flowers around school property, with a few pollinator-friendly choices to help the bees.
For the next school year, water bottle refill stations are ready to help students and staff opt away from plastic bottles. With her final consecutive year as president approaching, Rizeena fiercely wants a Platinum ranking for WCI.
This active environmentally-friendly club is not only helping WCI make mindful decisions, but branching into Weston’s neighbourhood to ensure that the community does their part as well.
This post is brought to you by Maureen Lennon, who is happy to encourage great writing by young Westonians!