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Students in Canso and Old Barns lead the way!

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Elementary students at Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy hosted litterless lunch on Tuesday, January 29th, while the EcoClub at Cobequid Consolidated Elementary School in Old Barns hosted a litterless lunch on January 31st. To help organize and coordinate this effort  EO Pam virtually visited P-6 students at FEC/CA earlier that month. Check out the Instagram Post and Facebook Post. The GSNS virtual visits help reduce driving but allow EO Pam to support the students in their litterless lunch activity.  

Schools across Nova Scotia are working hard to reduce their waste, and encouraging students and staff to pack litterless lunches can be a big help!

What is a litterless lunch you might ask? It’s a lunch that has no disposable packaging or garbage. It could also be  known as “zero-waste lunches.” Litterless lunches help to keep unnecessary packaging out of our landfills and oceans, while saving families money, and are healthier-providing students better nutrients for their school day!

Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy is located in a coastal community, students were so excited about litterless lunches! Many of the students’ families rely on the fisheries for jobs, and the students enjoy the local beaches in the warmer months. The students learned how reducing waste with their lunches helps to keep plastics (and other packaging) out of the oceans, which protects marine life, and the jobs of those who work on the water.

The students at FEC/CA did a fantastic job of bringing in alternate containers, reusable water bottles, etc., to ensure they had less garbage with their lunches. Of all the classes participating, the P/1 students created the least amount of garbage that day! Great job guys! FEC/CA wrote about their Litterless Lunch in their February newsletter, which can be seen here. Engagement officer Pam had so much fun virtually visiting FEC/CA students and helping them learn about litterless lunches, and can’t wait to work more with FEC/CA and support their green efforts!

The basics for having a litterless include:

  • using a reusable lunch bag/can instead of disposable paper/plastic bags
  • using a reusable water bottle instead of disposable bottles/juice boxes
  • using reusable containers to pack food instead of pre-packaged food or using plastic wrap/baggies/foil
  • using a cloth napkin instead of paper napkins/paper towel
  • using reusable cutlery instead of disposable ones

Many families already have all of these at home, so let’s use them and reduce our waste! You can even reuse a lot of the jars and containers that food comes in when you buy it. Glass honey/sauce jars work great, and can be reused over and over! Mason jars work great, even for salads!

In Old Barns, it was the EcoClub, with the help of Katrina Murphy, who encouraged students to bring in a litterless lunch, with posters, announcements and some YouTube videos. The class who brought the least amount of garbage won a popcorn challenge! The winners were the Grade 5s, with only three pieces of garbage! The challenge went over so well, the entire school, with a population of 165 students, had only one grocery bag of garbage at the end of lunch! The EcoClub was so excited to announce that to their peers! A lot of the students had no garbage at all with their lunches. Way to go Cobequid Consolidated!

Nova Scotia is composed of a lot of coastal communities, with many citizens depending on the Atlantic Ocean for their livelihood. Litterless lunches are something we can all strive for, to help reduce the waste flowing in our harbours and bays. Check out the Wave of Waste video by Oceans Week HFX. You’d be amazed at the plastics floating in our waters and washing ashore right here in Nova Scotia.

Want to help your students have litterless lunches? Contact your Green Schools engagement officer, and invite them to virtually visit your class!

As you know, many foods don’t need any packaging, as they have their own.  Apples, bananas, oranges-they can be packed directly in a lunch bag-no plastic needed. Check out this Litterless Lunch Challenge video to learn more.

~Pamela Chandler,
Engagement Officer

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