On Feb. 16, Canyon-Lister Elementary School’s Be the Change group officially joined the Blue Dot movement, a project of the David Suzuki Foundation that believes all people have a fundamental human right to clean air, soil and water.
CLES Be the Change students lead an assembly to celebrate. Their presentation was to educate and inspire their fellow students to take action, to become a part of looking after and protecting the environment:
“We believe that everyone has the right to clean air, clean soil and clean water. In the fall, the Be the Change group took charge. We spent four weeks trying to change our everyday behaviours. We tried to live environmentally aware.
“Some of us brushed our teeth only using a cup of water, instead of the Canadian average which is eight litres of water wasted every time we brush our teeth! In four weeks we saved almost 2,000 litres of water.
“Some of us picked up garbage. We picked up a total of 671 pieces of garbage.
“Some of us brought in electronics to recycle. We brought computer cords, walkie-talkies, cellphones, phones, kettles and other household appliances. Did you know that when we recycle a cellphone, we save the environment? Every time minerals used to make cellphones are mined, important habitat of endangered animals is destroyed. We saved these items from going into our dumps, leaking metals and poisoning our ground water.
“Some of us brought one garbageless lunch to school each week. We brought reusable containers, we brought fruit that comes with its own natural wrapping and we cut down packaging waste from going into our school garbage.
“During the last few weeks, Be the Change group has been busy. We each wrote a true story about an environmental issue that is important to us. One student wrote about going on a fishing trip with their dad — believing that we need clean water to catch and eat clean fish. He wants to always be able to go fishing with his dad! Some of us wrote about the need to save the caribou — believing that they need clean land to live on and call home. Some wrote about the butterflies — believing that we need clean air for the butterflies to be healthy and to pollinate our flowers and our food.”
A student inspired pillowcase project topped things off! On one side, the pillowcases spelled “Be the Change”, and when they were flipped over, there were beautiful images of fish, caribou, butterflies, lizards, horses — what children are passionate about: clean air, land and water.
At the end of the assembly, Be the Change students pledged to be silent for the rest of the day, silently standing up for the environmental issue that they believe in. As Be the Change students, they believe it is important to, as Mahatma Ghandi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
—CANYON-LISTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL