Grade 5 students from Kidston Elementary School in Coldstream challenged fellow classmates throughout School District 22 to work towards abolishing single-use plastics. (Contributed)

Grade 5 students from Kidston Elementary School in Coldstream challenged fellow classmates throughout School District 22 to work towards abolishing single-use plastics. (Contributed)

North Okanagan school celebrates plastic-free Valentine’s Day

Grade 5 students challenge fellow learners throughout district to show Mother Earth some love

Mrs. O’Brien’s Grade 5 students have taken the concept of going green really seriously.

The Kidston Elementary students, who have been studying the environment, decided they can make changes within their classroom to help care for Mother Earth.

“We don’t have garbage cans in our class,” a Grade 5 student said. “We recycle or compost everything.”

And when the most romantic day of the year approached, the students realized just how many single-use plastics were involved in the Hallmark holiday.

Last year, students collected more than 1,000 pieces of plastic generated from all classes in Kidston and estimated around three to five times that went home with students on Valentine’s Day alone.

The Grade 5 kids decided to challenge their school and others from School District 22 to show Mother Earth some love on Feb. 14.

The challenge: have a plastic-free celebration.

Students were surprised to learn they were joined in the challenge by classes and schools throughout the district, including Maple Ridge and Revelstoke.

Abolishing single-use plastics on one day was eye-opening for SD22 students and building on the challenge, the Grade 5 students will be writing letters to all parent advisory committees and principals throughout the district encouraging them to follow the Coldstream school’s lead in banning single-use plastics in school events and concessions.

Planning is already underway for several events and initiatives scheduled for the spring, including a seed sale, planting and maintaining the school garden and continuing the Kidston composting program.

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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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