On Monday, June 24, the School group participated in an initiative to clean up trash and debris on the coastline of the lake, organized by the ASL (Association pour la sauvegarde du Léman), along with several other elementary classes from St. Sulpice. We felt that it was important to participate, as we go to the lake daily, and have had an ongoing reflection with the children on waste and its impact on the environment, informally and as part of our Eco Schools projects.
According to the ASL website, here is some information on the initiative:
Action de nettoyage des déchets – de 4 à 12ans
Nombreux sont les déchets que l’on retrouve au bord du lac ou des cours d’eau. Une fois dans l’eau, ils se dégradent, polluant l’eau que nous buvons, entrant dans la chaîne alimentaire ou continuant son chemin jusqu’à la mer puis à l’océan. Une action de sensibilisation à la pollution aux déchets pour comprendre ce que deviennent les déchets dans la Nature et soulager l’environnement de nos déchets.
We began by looking at a map of the zone that we would be cleaning, as well as the types of trash, as well as invasive plants, that we could expect to find.
The children worked in pairs, and small groups to clean.
We learned to identify invasive plants, and how to remove them.
Once we had cleaned all of the areas in our zone, we emptied all of the buckets of trash onto a big drop cloth and then sorted and put the trash into the appropriate bins. Some of the trash was able to recycled, however the majority would need to be incinerated.
What kinds of trash did we find most?
Almost 900 cigarettes were collected. Each cigarette is filled with toxic substances that are very dangerous to the environment. Each cigarette is capable of polluting 7.5 liters of water!
We also found lots of small plastic rods, which we learned were from Q-tips. Often, people throw them in the toilet, and they are so small that they can pass through the water filtration and end up in the lake.
It was empowering for many of the children to be able to actively participate in a positive way to protect our environment.
Please visit the website of ASL website if you would like to learn more about ongoing actions and initiatives. Information is available in French, with limited information in English as well.