“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” — Anne-Marie Bonneau, chef
Things look a little different in the French Room this year. Cloth hand towels, lower lighting, composting, terracycling, and reducing/repurposing single-use plastic are just some of the ways French teacher Margaret Kohler has made her classroom “zero waste.”
Margaret feels that raising awareness about zero waste among all of her French students can help “transform the West Side community into a place where no one thinks of using a plastic bag and everyone gets creative about reducing plastic in all ways possible…When I see the beautiful kids at West Side, I want to do all I can do to help them enjoy a beautiful Earth, and long, healthy lives.”
Inspired by teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Margaret also started Earth Action Club for WSM Upper Elementary and Middle School students which meets on Fridays in the French room. The group’s first project is to sew and sell reusable cloth grocery bags to fundraise for causes that help wildlife and people suffering from climate-related disasters. They will be sold at the Montessori Magic event on October 25.
The purpose of Earth Action Club is to give students an opportunity to take positive action to help the Earth with immediate impact, feel empowered, and experience ways we can positively change.
How can you help? Donate your old sheets, curtains, duvet covers, or any other fabric or sewing supplies for this project, and ask friends to do the same. The bag sewing project aims to re-use as much old, unwanted fabric as possible, keeping it out of landfills. Donation baskets will be placed around the school in the coming weeks.
Easy changes your family can make together to help the Earth: pack reusable lunch containers, keep a stash of reusable bags in your car, use bar soap, compost food waste, and skip plastic straws and utensils with takeout food. For busy parents wishing to catch up on climate science basics, Margaret recommends the PBS documentary Nova: Decoding the Weather Machine.
By being informed and making a few little changes, the West Side community can make a big impact!
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.