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Students Renew Commitment to Recycling During Earth Month

Round Square
GNS students after completing a beach cleanup

Every year, in April, people around the world celebrate Earth Month as a way to raise awareness about climate change and its negative impacts on the planet.

Earth Month originally started as a movement in order to discourage and prevent the overuse of gas in the United States. After the devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson and a couple of young activists established Earth Day to remind everyone of the impacts of climate change and the importance of protecting the environment.

Here, at GNS, the Round Square Environment Committee is also trying to help promote saving the environment. From April 17 to 21, they organized an Earth Week which included a variety of fun activities. Joelle Marshman ’23, Olivia Dunkley ’23 and Senor Reeves were key in organizing Earth Week. Some of the activities included Blackout Day, recycled crafts, Alternative Transportation Day, as well as a Recycling Sorting game and Green Accessory Day.

On April 19, 25 Grade 9 and 10 students collected 4 kilograms of garbage from Gonzales Beach, with Señor Reeves and Ms. Clark. Next time, they plan to tackle a beach with more litter such as McNeil Beach.

To further improve the carbon footprint of our school and community, the Environmental Committee is also helping improve the school’s recycling bin system. Currently, there are different bins outside the cafeteria to help sort items for recycling. This is especially important because companies are very specific as to what they are able to recycle. If there is one misplaced item, the entire bin goes to the landfill! Which is why, at GNS, Round Square is encouraging everyone to recycle properly by posting clear signs with information about which items go where.

“The recycling initiative is meant to improve Dining Hall recycling,” said Caitlin Chen ’24, “We made new signs with actual photos of products sold in the Dining Hall on the bins and had volunteers around the recycling centre during lunchtime to supervise and help everyone to responsibly recycle. We also switched out the plastic utensils to compostable bamboo ones.”

“I think having people recycle is very important because everyone should contribute to protecting the environment,” Caitlin continues. “Recycling is such an easy thing to do—there is no active labour, additional money or big lifestyle change involved. It’s simply a responsibility everyone can take on and contribute to the world. We are also very privileged to have a great recycling system already set up in the school—we have the bins, a maintenance crew to take them out each day and a waste management company to transport our recycling to the processing centre. I hope this initiative not only improves the current system but also builds knowledge and habit into each student’s life. Ideally, they can integrate these actions into their everyday lives even in the future and inspire everyone to live sustainably.”