At lunch on 3 and 4 December, Eco Ex took place in the Galleria. The focus of the event was to educate students about the importance of leading sustainable lifestyles. Co-presidents of the MGCI EcoTeam, Parnika Godkhindi, Khari Thomas, Jason Shang, and Saeejith Nair, were all extremely happy with the turn out, as many students had stopped by. Interactive stations were especially popular, and included a Recycling Roulette, Organic vs. Non-organic Bananas test, and a Bottled vs. Tap Water Taste Test.

There were two stands that gave students opportunities to try a taste test. In one, students were able to taste two types of bananas – organic and non-organic. They were then required to guess which type of banana it was. Sylvia Chong was a Grade 9 student who was hosting one of the stands. Sylvia also participated in this activity, commenting, “It was really fun guessing which banana sample was organic.” The other taste test was a comparison between bottled water and tap water.

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Students were able to learn about various ecological issues through the presentations at Eco-Ex. Photo: Shawana Munir.

Many students that participated in the taste testing booths had a good time as well – some began having competitions to see who would choose the correct answer. “I hope I have made a difference. I’ve been trying to inform everyone who has come here about the differences between organic and non-organic foods, and about the different health benefits, and the ways in which they are grown differently,” James Robins, a student hosting the taste test station, said.

The third station, Recycling Roulette, was also a huge hit. Students were quizzed on their  knowledge about recycling materials. They were presented with different materials, and had to determine whether or not the material was recyclable.

Ms. Roberge, a staff advisor of the Eco Club, said that “I think it’s very important to have an educational approach this year, because a lot of kids living around the area don’t have compost in their buildings; they don’t have the green bins, and recycling as well. They now know where the garbage should go.”

Club executives took advantage of the attention generated in the exhibition by discussing the green bin program projected to begin at Marc Garneau in January. The club is hoping to gather more attention to the program to make it successful. “Before, in the past we didn’t have people picking up the useful garbage from the school directly, but now that the TDSB is having the green bins, that will change.” Said Ms. Roberge.

Along with the interactive activities, there were also a few educational stations that talked about the importance of trees, and the effects that humans have had on monarch butterflies. Although students showed less interest to these stations, the ones that had viewed the presentations learned a lot.

Ms. Woodley, another teacher supervisor for the Eco Club, said that “The approach of passing on knowledge is very different from previous years. But so far it’s been very helpful to Garneau students.”