Gillian Archibald, a teacher at Jackman Avenue Public School in Toronto, is passionate about water. Her enthusiasm is infectious among her students, who joined her in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, and a joint conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF.
Archibald and 50 students cleaned up part of the Don River in May as part of the spring educational program, a youth-based program supplementing the fall national shoreline cleanup. The students cheered as Gillian announced that together they picked up over 58 kg of trash, including plastic dog poop bags, cigarette butts, an old yoga mat, plastic utensils and food wrappers.
“Clean water is one thing no one can live without, and yet we take it for granted,” said Archibald. “This is a great opportunity for kids to see the human impact on our waterways and the environment. Hopefully, they will go back to school and talk to their friends and other students about it.”
Archibald plans to register her students and other teachers for the fall shoreline cleanup, taking place September 15-23, 2012. The fall cleanup is one of the largest direct action cleanup efforts in Canada. People all across Canada can take part by adopting their local shoreline as a site coordinator, or joining an existing cleanup, by registering at ShorelineCleanup.ca.
To keep the event fun and engaging is key, according to Archibald, especially if you are with young children. She likens the cleanup to having a mini adventure in your own backyard, which is the best kind of learning experience for kids or adults.
Like Archibald, you can help keep Canada’s shorelines and waters clean and healthy for everyone, including the wildlife and communities that depend on them. The cleanup is open to everyone across Canada and takes place anywhere where land meets water. Register today at ShorelineCleanup.ca.
Shoreline Cleanup is supported by partial proceeds from Loblaw’s national pay-for-plastic shopping bag program, which funds green initiatives and helps reduce the number of plastic shopping bags in landfills and shorelines. The fewer plastic bags in use, the fewer will end up littering our waters. In 2011, Loblaw customers used 71 per cent fewer plastic shopping bags than they did before the company implemented the program. Since 2007, Loblaw has reduced the number of shopping bags from its stores by 3.8 billion.
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Thank you to The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for providing this article.