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One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you ask someone to stop doing or using something that’s key to their lifestyle, you need to provide or brainstorm an alternative. For example, if you just tell someone who relies on fishing for their entire livelihood to stop fishing as the local fish population needs to recover, they won’t stop fishing unless an alternative way to make a living is found.

Thus for Earth Day in Ms. Caswell’s Gr 6/7 class at JA Laird School, students investigated alternatives to various household products that are typically wasteful. Products included saran wrap, gas-powered lawn mowers, new clothes, plastic straws, toxic household cleaners, and disposable menstrual pads.

Students researched what alternatives exist and created interactive posters to highlight these alternatives. For example, in the pictures below, instead of:

a) buying new clothes, you could host a clothing swap

b) using ziplocks, you could use beeswax wraps or reusable food bags

c) using a toxic household cleaner, you could use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Students helped provide alternatives to their classmates and schoolmates through these informative posters. They hope that the next time you want to tell someone to stop a behaviour that’s not good for the Earth that you first think of an alternative you could suggest.