At lunch on 7 and 8 December 2016, Marc Garneau’s EcoTeam hosted their annual Eco Ex to increase the school’s awareness of environmental issues. This year, three new sampling booths, a banner on climate change, and a do-it-yourself activity were introduced in addition to last year’s activities.

One of the Eco Ex stations was an organic honey taste-testing station. Photo: Russell Ijaya

Held in the galleria, the event consisted of seven stations, each offering a unique activity. The club offered three taste-testing stations: one for raw, organic honey, one for organic and non-organic bananas, and one for tap and bottled water. For the banana and water testing stations, students were asked to identify which of the two samples were which.

Similar to last year, students visiting the “Recycling Roulette” station had to throw given objects into either the recycling or garbage bins correctly. At the petition stations, students could sign their names in support of a ban of plastic bags, action for climate change, and the protection of pollinators. The club will be sending the signed petitions regarding pollinators to Catherine McKenna, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Moreover, as a means to promote waste reduction, a new do-it-yourself craft was introduced, which involved weaving baskets with newspapers. Finally, gardening kits, which came with seeds and soil, were available for interested students to take home.

The greater variety of booths was one of the reasons the 2016 Eco Ex had more student interest than previous years. However, the interactive stations were once again the most popular amongst the students: Personally, I liked the organic food tasting station the most,” said Grace Xiong, a Grade 9 student. “Overall, I think that it’s great that the EcoTeam is getting the entire school involved in the green initiative.”

This year’s Eco Ex focused on advocating for environmental awareness and promoting the idea of sustainability. To further their message, MGCI’s EcoTeam created a banner to showcase the issue of climate change. The banner was displayed in the galleria, generating a large amount of interest amongst students.

Parnika Godkhindi, one of the co-presidents of EcoTeam was quite pleased with the event. When asked about its success, she said, “EcoTeam has been planning the Eco Ex for many years now, but this is the first year we have made the event this big (in terms of the number of booths). I was really impressed by the turnout, and am proud of what the club’s members have accomplished.”