Hockey SokStraps

2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Alex and Tyler are high school students at Garden City Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. While coming up with an idea on what they could do to improve their watershed, they considered things they did every day. Both of them play hockey, and they noticed that after just one game or practice, there was a large amount of plastic waste from sock tape. They came across a local company that had a solution: reusable hockey sock straps!

They provided their hockey team members with SokStraps to use instead of plastic hockey tape. Many of the students liked the way they worked and made the full-time transition to SokStraps.

“The high use of sock tape is a problem in our world that has gone under the radar for far too long. We have never known what sock tape really does to our watershed, but now we do. It’s time that we become the solution, and work to fix our past mistakes and the damage that we have caused.”

Making Beauty Sustainable

Make Beauty Sustainable MB student action finalist2019, Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada

Jenna Kowerko, a grade 12 student at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School, was concerned about the effects that the waste her school’s Cosmetology Department could be having on her local watershed. She did some searching and found a company called Green Circle Salons that would take some of that waste and dispose of it in a more environmentally friendly way. Green Circle Salons [is] North America’s only sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste (greencirclesalons.com).

According to their website, this program allows salons to repurpose and recover up to 95% of the resources that were once considered waste! You can actually watch the weight of “waste diverted” climb in real time on their home page!

 

“This would be a great deal of change at a small price and it is shameful to still think that our salon and other salons have not progressed to this eco-friendly level. It is probably because most salons do not know about this affordable idea. It is our job as the future generation to spread awareness to help save our environment.”

Green Salons Logo

Reducing the Amount of Styrofoam

Reducing Styrofoam Student Action Manitoba2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

John and Roy are students at Holy Cross School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When asked the question, “What could you do to improve your watershed?”, they came up with the idea of reducing the amount of Styrofoam used at their school. The chemicals used to make Styrofoam get into the food we eat off of them, and later can leach into our watershed. Although there is often a recycling symbol on the bottom of Styrofoam products, most recycling depots won’t actually take them.

The boys found a Canadian company called Greenmunch that specializes in environmentally friendly disposable products. Since it wasn’t feasible to have reusable products in their school without a way to wash them, this was the next best thing! Compostable products that will break down in a landfill much more quickly and without leaching chemicals into the soil that can end up in our water.

Reducing Styrofoam Student Action Manitoba

The Ecological Impact of Batteries

2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Westwood Collegiate student Lhili Kolbauer addressed the issue that improper disposal of batteries was having a negative effect on her watershed by involving her community in a battery recycling initiative. Before she came up with her solution, Lhili did some research of her own to see what kind of effects batteries could have on her watershed if they made their way there due to breakdown in landfills or other areas that they should not be found. This was what she saw:

Batteries over time comparison Manitoba project

She found that in less than two weeks, the batteries degraded quickly and affected the quality of water greatly. This degradation can occur in landfills when water passes over improperly disposed of batteries. This water then enters our watersheds, creating a problem. Lhili’s solution was to deliver recycling boxes to members of her community that would come with information on where they could take their old batteries to be properly recycled. Rather than have an event where people can drop off their batteries a single time, this is a long-term solution that educates people to get into a new habit of continued proper disposal.

“Every action, no matter how grand in scale, matters when taking care of our watershed.”

Alternate Acrylic Field Marking Paint Campaign

Acrylic Paint Alternative Implementation Manitoba2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Keanna Bailey and Jenna Myskiw are students at Garden City Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They noticed that the field marking paint that their school division used on school sports fields was made of a material that could leach into their watershed and cause problems. They found an alternative that was much more eco-friendly. They approached their school division to see if they would support a change in the paints they were using, and the division agreed to change all their paint over to eco-friendly options! The division made the change on their own without any additional funding, and they plan to continue to use it in the future. Sometimes, all it takes is letting someone know there is a better way!

“Encouraging more youth to take precautions and rethink how their lifestyle is impacting our watershed. By creating this conversation, along with educating each other on Lake Winnipeg watersheds current situation allows the topic to be exposed to more people. Ultimately try to get everyone switching their ways to ecofriendly products. At last, we are concerned for our watershed and want to help fix the chemical flow into Lake Winnipeg. Because it is devastating to see, our lake portrayed as a harmful body of water, mainly due to human activities that can be fixed. We want to be able to enjoy Lake Winnipeg for years to come, and that starts with recognizing our actions, and revising to more sustainable options that will benefit our watershed and overall environment.”

ROBBIE’S RIVER RESCUE

2019, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Renee Lichtenwald-Kraft and Odessa Schlosser of St. George School in Saskatoon created a children’s book that shows a rubber duck named Robbie accidentally getting lost down the bathtub drain. Robbie then experiences going through the water treatment plant. Along his journey he makes a connection with a girl rubber duck named Penny. His owner, Jack, and little sister, Emily, are searching and doing anything they can to find him, and in the end they rescue both Robbie and Penny from the River.

They want to print off 15 books for their school library and classrooms grades 1-3. The girls also want to put one book in each Catholic school in Saskatoon and surrounding areas of Warman, Martensville, and Humboldt. Eventually they would like to put a book in every Public school in Saskatoon as well.

Renee and Odessa are excited to share their knowledge gained through the Caring For Our Watersheds program, especially to the younger classes, as they were not educated on where the water goes after entering the storm drain system when they were younger. They are proud to spread awareness of the water treatment and sanitary sewer drain systems and how they affect the health of our watershed. The girls are already thinking of writing a sequel focusing on storm drains.

The Soda Tap!

2019, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Shaun Vorster of Montgomery School in Saskatoon is concerned with the amount of water wasted from letting a household tap run all day. He has a personal connection to this problem: He was born in South Africa and the country experienced severe drought in 2017-18. The City of Cape Town was on the verge of running out of water completely, so the residents there became very innovative about ways to limit water usage.

Soda Tap Implementation Saskatchewan Canada

Shaun saw an online video of a similar project someone in South Africa had made and decided to create his own Soda Tap in order to save on water consumption in his home here in Saskatoon. It is a 2L soda pop bottle with a hole drilled at the bottom and a plastic tube in the hole. When it is squeezed, water comes out of the tube. When you let go of the bottle, the flow stops. If you want continued flow, you can open the cap. To stop the flow, simply close the cap again. Because the bottle is not pressurized, the flow rate is significantly lower than a normal faucet.

Shaun is hoping to make several Soda Taps to take to the lake, the park, and anywhere a small supply of water is needed. He will be showing others how they can make their own as well. This project shows that personal experiences can often pave the way for meaningful projects. “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

No Plastic Is Fantastic

2019, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Rafay Ahmed, Josh Bell, and Saabir Yousuf of Greystone Heights School in Saskatoon were concerned with the amount of single-use plastics contaminating and creating dangers in our environment.

These students planned a community cleanup to reduce the amount of garbage and single-use plastics ending up in our river, and they have planned a single-use plastics phase-out in their school. To eliminate the use of single-use plastics in their school, they created a competition to see which class was bringing the least amount of single-use plastics to school for lunches and snacks. The winning class at the end of the month wins a pizza party. To encourage the elimination of these plastics, the group will be providing paper straws, paper bags, biodegradable utensils, and paper cups for the students in the school to use instead. They have already created a website so that students and others can learn how to phase out the use of plastics at their schools and in their homes.

Rafay, Josh, and Saabir feel that their project is economically feasible, easy to replicate anywhere, and has huge environmental impact potential.

No Plastic is Fantastic SK Implementation Student Action No Plastic is Fantastic SK Implementation Student Action

Tainted Paint

2019, Regina, Saskatchewan, CanadaTainted Paint Implementation SK 1

Abrianna Primavera, Ella Rutera, and Mary Elegino of St. Kateri Tekakwitha School in Regina, Saskatchewan were concerned with paint (and other environmental contaminants) not being properly disposed of. They were alarmed that when paint doesn’t get properly disposed of, it can end up in our water sources. They came up with a plan to make it easier for people to properly dispose of these items, and also to make people aware of the dangers of not disposing of these items properly.

Tainted Paint Implementation SK 2

These girls have already collected numerous paint cans, as well as old nail polish bottles. In addition to placing collection bins for nail polish bottles at Sally Beauty and paint collection bins at 4Cats Art Studio, they have gone door-to-door in their neighbourhood collecting these items to ensure they get disposed of properly.

Abrianna, Ella, and Mary have already seen the impact of their project by collecting old paint cans and nail polish bottles and taking them for proper disposal.

They have also been able to donate paint that is still usable to organizations that can’t afford to purchase such items.

 

Waste Free Lunch

Waste Free Lunch implementation Manitoba

2019, Warren, Manitoba, Canada

Katelyn LaCombe from Warren Collegiate in Manitoba wanted to encourage her classmates to bring waste free lunches to school. She noticed that so many of her fellow students were bringing food in plastic bags, plastic wrap, and other disposable items.

Waste Free Lunch implementation Manitoba

She held three contests throughout the school year where students could bring lunches in reusable containers to get their name entered to win environmentally friendly phone cases and zippered cloth snack bags. She provided a poster with different options to replace single-use plastics to educate everyone to continue packing waste free lunches even after the contests were over.