(Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces) at Glebe Collegiate
By Katie Fice
As the COVID-19 pandemic alters our lives in so many ways, a group of students is boldly working to raise awareness about environmental stewardship and waste reduction. The Zero Waste Committee of the Environment Committee of the GCA is inspired by and commends the efforts of the TWIGS (Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces) club at Glebe Collegiate.
The co-heads of TWIGS – Anna Roper, Freddie Lofthouse and Isobel Watson – recently took some time to explain to me more about what they do, and I was impressed by their ambition. They said that their mission is to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection and make Glebe Collegiate and the community that surrounds it a greener space.
TWIGS promotes waste reduction through a variety of activities and events throughout the year. During a traditional school year, members are responsible for the school’s recycling program, participate in a bi-annual Clean-Up the Capital event and organize an e-waste drive during the Great Glebe Garage Sale “which is always a hugely successful event with many members of the school and the Glebe neighbourhood community involved.” In recent years, they have planted some trees and a vegetable garden in the front yard of Glebe Collegiate. They are now trying to get compost bins installed throughout the school.
They also explained a larger and longer-term project for their campus – to design and create an outdoor classroom. “We hope to have it up and running for Glebe Collegiate’s upcoming 100th anniversary in the 2022-23 school year.” Their determination reminded me not to underestimate the impact our youth can have on bringing about positive change for people and the planet.
The club has gained many new members over the last couple of months, which has allowed them to organize a number of initiatives during COVID. They held a virtual event called “Merry Mask-Making” to encourage people to make their own reusable masks instead of using single-use masks. They also organized a successful online raffle, which raised over $250 for CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society). Generous raffle prizes were donated by numerous Ottawa businesses. Finally, they created a holiday gift guide on their Instagram page, featuring 15 small, eco-friendly businesses. This project aimed to highlight the importance of shopping locally and reducing shipping packaging.
The co-heads indicated they have a few upcoming events in the works, so keep an eye out on what these resolute youth are up to by following them on Instagram @glebe.ci.twigs. They welcome anyone who shares their mission to get involved in their projects and are always looking for ways to collaborate with members of the community. If anyone is interested in working with them on one of their initiatives, please contact them via email (email@example.com) or reach out to them on Instagram.
Conscious of her own waste footprint, Katie Fice joined the GCA Zero Waste Committee (a subcommittee of the Environment Committee) to learn more about waste reduction and to help raise awareness of simple changes in our daily living that can have a big impact on the environment.