When Crossroads Public School holds its annual home show Saturday, it will include the new Eco Club’s efforts to raise awareness about climate change and the environment.
Three Grade 5 students, Eliana McManus, Fiona Bell and Ella Edgecombe, were interested in joining Friday climate change protests, inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who began an international movement of school students who take time off from class on Fridays to participate in demonstrations to demand government leaders take action to prevent climate change.
Their principal suggested instead the girls direct their efforts to creating some change themselves, by starting an Eco Club at the school, which they did.
Their little club has grown, and members have decided to host a table they’re calling The Little Green Shop at the home show, to promote and sell environmentally-friendly products. Some the club members made themselves, others they sourced locally.
Although they would like to raise some money, the more important goal is to educate people about what is available.
“We really want to raise awareness,” says Fiona.
“We can make more people have more awareness of ways they can help the environment, by telling them about environmentally friendly things they can use.”
They held a fundraiser during the summer, with a bake sale that included nine dozen cookies, iced tea and some painted rocks, to help finance the club.
They’ve sourced some companies that are “refilleries,” supplying mostly cleaning products, such as hand, dish and laundry soap, for refillable containers. They will also be selling beeswax wraps made by a Hamilton company, and lip balm packaged in cardboard rather than plastic.
They attended a library program where they also learned an easy method to make attractive tote bags from old T-shirts, which they will be selling, along with some creative gift cards.
And they are planning a Little Green Newsletter which will offer recycling tips, some of which they will share with The Local.
At school, one of the jobs of the club, explains Eliana, is to check that classes are recycling. Teachers put their class recycling bins outside their classroom doors, and Eco Club members empty them, going through the bins to ensure everything in them is recyclable.
The girls have been friends since they attended Niagara Nursery School together, so in addition to feeling like they’ve taken up a worthwhile cause, they are also having fun.
The students’ Little Green Shop will only be able to accept cash for purchases.
The NOTL Home, Garden & Craft Show is at Crossroads School Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.