Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the third week of April has always been about youth making bold steps for change. And the students taking part in Wildsight’s Beyond Recycling program are doing just that. Motivated to make a difference, the Grades 4-6 students in this sustainability education program are coming up with innovative ideas to meet complex environmental challenges. As the culmination of their eight-month journey “Beyond Recycling,” each of the 21 classes participating in Beyond Recycling this year found a unique way to celebrate Earth Day.
They are doing everything form designing sustainable cities of the future and planting trees in their schoolyard, to leading beach cleanups and turning trash into art.
“It’s so inspiring to see these kids take the knowledge they develop through the program and run with it,” says Dawn Deydey, Beyond Recycling Program Coordinator. “I have the wonderful job of witnessing them create positive environmental change in their own lives and their communities. It’s a privilege.”
Once a week since the fall, students have been exploring their ecological footprint, waste, energy, climate change, water and food. They’ve become “garbologists,” made their own paper, tracked the life cycles of everyday objects and considered how their choices impact the world around them.
The Beyond Recycling students join the 192 countries and more than a billion people who celebrate Earth Day this year. Over the last fifty years, the message remains the same: we need to create the change we want to see in the world, and it is our youth who are going to take us there.
Wildsight is grateful for the support of the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Regional District of Central Kootenay, Province of British Columbia and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council that allow us to offer these programs for free.