Future looks bright thanks to Chilliwack elementary students

Two local schools win awards in BC Green Games awards this year, with their innovative ideas to help protect the environment

The future is looking greener, now that these kids are taking charge.

The students at two local schools are environmental whiz kids. They sort recyclables others would discard, and they pack litter-free lunches. They compost, conserve water, and educate others about environmental impacts.

And for all those efforts, the students at Sardis and Strathcona elementary schools have been recognized and awarded the title of BC Green Games Winners.

Strathcona impressed the judges of the province-wide contest with the success of their ‘dead pen’ program. Upon learning that pens, felts and most other writing utensils can be diverted from the landfill to be recycled, the students in Mme. Kristina Daneluz’s class set a goal to collect 250 pens. But in just a few short months, they gathered almost 3,000. And their enthusiasm even spread to local government offices — both the Fraser Valley Regional District and the City of Chilliwack are now recycling pens and markers as well.

At Sardis, the wave of environmentalism is catching on throughout the school, too. They have increased awareness about litter-free lunches, with more than 100 students on average bringing their food in reusable containers.

They first audited their own trash production, and have seen a dramatic drop in what’s being tossed into cans. It may seem like a small change, but the average student can create up to 70 kg of garbage a year, in lunches alone. At their last audit, they had reduced waste by 17 kg.

Strathcona was one of 10 winners under the elementary school category, and Sardis was one of two winners of the BC Hydro Energy Prize.

Both schools will receive a $1,000 grant to put toward more green initiatives at the schools.

The BC Green Games were created by ScienceWorld and is sponsored by BC Hydro’s Powersmart and Encorp.