By Linda Curtis
To help mark the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on creation care, Laudato Si, the student leaders of St Mary’s primary campus, North Sydney are recognising that they can take action and be stewards of creation to make their school space even greener.
After praying and collaborating together over the last month they agreed on three ways how they could make a difference now:
- Be ambassadors to make sure that their classroom recycling waste bins are being used correctly. The leaders do a daily audit on the four bins that are in the classroom to make sure that the bins are being used correctly. There is a specific bin for paper/cardboard, soft plastics, cans and bottles that can be recycled and landfill.
- Organise a drive to collect preloved school uniforms so that the uniforms can be donated and turned into new items such as school desks. With the primary school now part of a new Marist school precinct from Kindergarten to Year 12, a new uniform was designed. Instead of the old St Mary’s uniforms going to landfill, they are now being collected by the school to be given to Worn Up, an Australian based company who upcycles uniforms.
- Organise a Return and Earn style store to be set up at the June Caritas mini fair. The Return and Earn program is all about making sure that bottles and cans are collected so that they do not end up in waterways such as oceans and rivers. The students were inspired by this action due to a face to face session with an EPA Executive Director, Stephen Beaman speaking to them at one of their lunchtime meetings.
In Laudato Si Pope Francis asks us to care for the earth. The students and families of St Mary’s primary campus are inspired to respond to this call and to do even more for our common home.
Linda Curtis is a Family Educator at Marist Catholic College Northshore