Grade 4 students at École Mother Teresa School learning about how to make decisions that will create less waste during a presentation from Lynnette Allemand Jan. 19. Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

Waste not want not

Grade 4 class learns practices for less garbage and using waste in new ways

The Grade 4 students at École Mother Teresa School learned about how to make decisions that will create less waste during a presentation from Lynnette Allemand this morning.

Allemand, a bachelor of science graduate from the University of Alberta volunteers with the Alberta Science Network to talk to students about what she’s passionate about: zero waste. Her passion fit right into the Waste in our World topic in the science curriculum.

“Science is a great way to help us solve problems. By learning more about information we’re curious about we can make more responsible choices based on the information we do have,” was the take-away message Allemand told the students she hoped they’d remember after the presentation.

Allemand brought in several of her red wiggler compose worms to show the students one way to help break down biodegradable waste products like paper towel, lettuce and banana peels.

She talked about reducing, reusing and recycling and expanded on the “3 R’s” with more options for how to handle waste. Added perspectives to the regular “3 R’s” are: refuse, remember, respect, remake, restore, and repair to include in our thought process around waste. Allemand gave examples of several of the new R’s with items she’d brought from home including socks the students decided she could remake into a sock puppet, a ripped cloth bag she said she could repair by sewing it closed.

Students were eager to talk about their own experiences in being “waste warriors,” sharing experiences of turning old t-shirts into rags and sharing what kinds of waste they feed their compost worms.

“By practising these things you can become a waste warrior in your community,”Allemand said to the students.

The presentation grew out of practices she’s implemented in her own life and is excited to share what she’s learned with students.

“I went with this theme to teach them there’s so many different options for all the materials we have,” she said.

Allemand says she notices the difference between larger centres like Edmonton and smaller communities in how waste is perceived and handled. She shared a few tips for rural Alberta towns for moving towards zero waste both in energy and in physical waste. First, she suggested the most important thing is to become conscious of what we’re consuming so we can start to make choices that create less waste. She recommends shopping local and avoiding packaging as much as possible and growing your own vegetables and fruit whenever you can.

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