Students aim for zero waste

  • May 1, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - Students at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School spread the word about striving for a world of zero waste through a Grade 5/6 play called What a Lot of Garbage on April 27.

The students presented the play before parents, friends, local politicians MPP Laura Albanese and City Councillor Frances Nunziata and Director of Education Ann Perron.

The play was a dialogue between a reporter, a student, Mother Nature, garbage, businessmen, the government and more as they travel through time to see the effects of human actions. 

Michael Johnson-Roach, a Grade 6 student who played a businessman, said he learned a lot about sensitive issues.

“I learned the business side about why they’re arguing with these issues and why it will be hard or easy for them reduce packaging,” he said.

This past year, in class, students learned about “good” vs “bad” packaging and were encouraged to write letters to a company that used excessive and unnecessary wrapping.

Michael D’Ovidio, also in Grade 6, liked the fact students were not only learning about how to strive for zero waste, but also were learning how to spread awareness.

“I learned that the government can help in zero waste, like by putting taxes on packaging. But I also learned why the government doesn’t get involved,” D’Ovidio said.

Principal Roy Fernandes started getting students interested in zero waste initiatives at past schools where he worked. He said the best way to engage them is to make it a visual learning experience.

“The first thing I did was put on gloves and started yanking out garbage from the trash can and showed them what should not have gone in there,” he said.

He discussed what could be recycled and what couldn’t. He also talked about using reusable alternatives to packaging like sandwich bags and plastic wrap. And being in the Catholic school system, he also talks to them about being God’s stewards of the Earth.

After the April 27 performance, the Grade 5/6 class invited the school and guests to visit the “Zero Waste Stations” display set up to present more in-depth information.

To find out more about their initiatives, visit .

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