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Small steps of stewardship make a difference
The global figures presented by St. Edward School students are staggering: 2.3 billion tons of waste dumped in our oceans, 1.3 billion tons of wasted food—every year.
We all need to take some responsibility and make a change—even seemingly small change—was the message given at the kick-off of the Meewasin, Affinity Credit Union clean up campaign at St. Edward on Earth Day, April 22.
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools' (GSCS) Board of Education Chair Diane Boyko said, "Our faith reminds us that we are stewards of the world. We are responsible for the world and for each other."
Boyko's comments echo the message of Pope Francis, who has been very vocal about environmental and social needs in our world today, recognizing that creation reflects the Creator.
After a brief event in the gymnasium to launch the clean up (which runs through May 15), students cleaned up their playground.
Meewasin's annual clean up of the river valley, city parks and neighbourhoods by schools, community groups and individuals involves close to 30,000 volunteers. It demonstrates that the small actions of a lot of people can make a big difference in our communities.
Earlier in the week, students from four GSCS schools (Bishop Klein, St. Anne, St. George and St. Peter) exhibited results from their sustainability projects at the Student Action for a Sustainable Future showcase at the Western Development Museum.
For four months, dozens of students worked on projects promoting sustainability in the classroom, school or at home. They conducted experiments to test their thesis, or "big question". The showcase was an opportunity to display their results.
Reducing water and electricity use, recycling and composting, limiting idling vehicles, growing native plants and encouraging students to take their scooters or skateboards to school are among the wide variety of ideas that students put to the test.
They found that education is the key—people are willing to make a change if they are made aware of its impact. Small things like turning classroom lights off at recess, using reusable water bottles instead of running the water fountain, or providing containers for compostable waste in the classroom may not seem like much individually, but the effects add up over time and when everyone participates.
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