World Environment Day was Monday, and in celebration, the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council took a special visit to Boy’s Town All Age School for a plastic repurposing and student gardening initiative.
Our council members visited with 26 students in grade 4, who greeted us with smiles and excitement. We taught the students how they could repurpose and decorate their used plastic bottles and fashion them into customized plant pots.
[If you want to try this at home, check out these examples and ideas Simply cut your bottles in the shape you want and decorate however you want. Make sure you punch holes in the bottom so your plants can have good drainage!]
Once the pots were complete, each student was given a vegetable seedling to plant in their new pot. “Me a big farmer you know!” one young boy exclaimed, as he and some of his friends planted not just one, but a number of seedlings. Students chose from onion, tomato, sweet pepper, red pepper, cucumber and calalloo seedlings, and even the principal, Ms Sylvia Banks planted her very own sweet pepper seedling in her brightly decorated pot.
The students were just as excited as we were to learn how to recycle and repurpose their plastic bottles, right within their small space. Recycling is a habit that can start with very small steps, and you don’t have to have access to a fancy recycling plant to begin to practise a culture of recycling and repurposing. Planting trees and vegetables is another easy step you can take towards helping protect the environment. Trees and plants produce oxygen and absorb excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and by starting your own little vegetable garden, you’re taking steps to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.
We had a great visit at Boy’s Town, and we promised to visit them again when it was time to reap the vegetables so we could enjoy our big “dinner”. We intend to continue school visits to spread awareness of climate change and environmental protection among young people across Jamaica.