One Person’s Waste is Another’s…Decorations?

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School:  McKim Elementary

Ms. Spensley’s grade 5 and 6s decided to tackle a waste EcoChallenge this year with a decorative twist. The McKim Middle School students took on the challenge of decorating Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook’s first ever Winter Market.

Beyond Recycling starts with the students learning about the different types of waste, and what actually belongs in the trash, and what should go elsewhere – recycling, compost, or to be re-used. Starting with a mini waste audit of the class garbage, they discovered there’s a lot more that we can do to keep things out of the landfill. So when it came time for the first action project of the year, the class was keen to focus on waste – and to show off their work!


Over two work blocks, the students sewed and knotted scrap fabrics donated by the local quilting store, turning waste fabric into decorative chain and loop garlands. Some students were already knowledgeable sewers, and very keen to jump on Ms. Spensley’s sewing machine, while others learned a basic back stitch for the first time. Others still, focused on making some signs to thank the local fabric store and share our story with the market visitors. Together, the students made over 30 feet of garland!


Then, we all went on a short field trip to put them up at the market site ourselves. And what a difference it made, livening up the whole space!

The garland was donated to the Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook branch to be used again and again for various future events.