Aeverie Lane and Chris Gibson

Students from École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys took over the break room at Kemptville District Hospital last Monday to teach the staff about the benefits of recycling. “We have a partnership with the hospital,” says Vice Principal, Angela Certosini, “We decided to organize an event to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.”

In honour of Earth Day, students from Grades 7 to 10 from Sainte-Marguerite Bourgeoys set up bristol board displays at the hospital about everything from how to recycle properly, to the effects of plastics and other types of garbage on wildlife. A presentation by Grade 10 students, Aeverie Lane and Chris Gibson, explained that there is currently 270,000 tons of plastic floating in the ocean. “Sea turtles consume plastic bags because they think they are jellyfish,” Aeverie says. “We are hoping to bring out people’s feelings to motivate change.”

Lianna McCann, Grade 8, and Aaliyah Fleury, Grade 9, created a powerpoint presentation to share with the staff to talk about where our garbage ends up, and how they can recycle more efficiently to make sure recyclable items don’t end up in the landfill. “Recycling should always be an option,” Lianna said, while pointing out all the different recycling receptacles in the hospital on a map. The girls also addressed some of the many reasons hospital staff say they don’t recycle, giving tips and trying to remove barriers.

KDH staff was happy to share their breakroom with the students, who filled the space with youthful enthusiasm. “Encouraging recycling at work can be a real challenge in any organization, as there are always reasons why it can’t be done, such as ‘we’re too busy’, or ‘it’s inconvenient’,” said Tammy Buehlow, Manager of Building Services at KDH. “The students offer a fresh perspective on what sustainability means to their generation, and promote how just a little bit of effort on our part will make all the difference for their future. Their optimism is contagious!”

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