The Department of Natural Resources (DNaR) commemorated Global Recycling Day on Friday 17th March, 2023, by engaging students of the Adrian T. Hazell Primary School- Student Support Unit, in a recycling Activity. It was based on recycling eggshells to be used as seedling trays or starter pots for planting.
Global Recycling Day was first established in 2018 by the Global Recycling Foundation – a non-profit organization (https://www.global recyclingfoundation.org/).
The aim was to spread awareness about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are depleting, and the need for recycling to slow it down. This day has since been recognized by the United Nations and is celebrated annually on 18th March around the world.
The focus is to promote the vitality of recycling and support sustainable development across the globe. The day also creates an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of waste on the environment and encourage people to take action to protect the planet for future generations.
This year, Global Recycling Day was celebrated on Anguilla on Friday 17th March, 2023, around the theme “Creative Innovation”, to encourage people to think out of the box and find new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
The Department engaged students of the Adrian T. Hazel Primary School- Student Support Unit in a two-stage recycling activity, which was spearheaded by DNaR Conservation Officer Ms. Uldean Trim.
During Stage One, the students were engaged in preparing their breakfast which was egg based. Ms. Trim demonstrated to the students the correct technique used to crack eggs so that the shell can be preserved for planting after the contents are removed. Students were then given an opportunity to practice the technique. The breakfast included Scrambled Eggs, Plain Bun, Waffles, Lettuce and Tomato Salad, Bush Tea and Sliced Watermelon.
Students were also encouraged to save all the vegetable peels by putting them in the container provided. They engaged in a brainstorming session to determine reasons why the vegetable peels should be saved. While some suggested that vegetable peels should be saved to feed animals, others suggested that they could be put in pots to give the plants food. This led to a more in-depth discussion on how vegetable peels can be recycled by using them to form compost, which provides nutrients for the plant.
Phase two of the activity – the recycling of eggshells for planting – involved a hands-on approach by the students. They discussed the concept of recycling, including ways in which some materials can be reused multiple times such as plastic bottles and cardboard boxes.
They also looked at how recycling can be beneficial to persons and the environment including reducing waste at the landfill, preventing pollution, reducing pesky mosquitoes, tackling youth unemployment by creating job opportunities, being cheaper than waste collection and disposal, cutting climate-changing carbon emissions, protecting ecosystems and wildlife, reducing the demand for raw materials, saving energy and for decorative purposes.
Following the discussion, students engaged in the practical activity where they planted celery, parsley, and chives in the eggshells, using pro-mix as the growth medium. Planting in eggshells is also classified as an alternative to conventional farming. Once there were not enough eggshells, students were encouraged to plant their seedlings directly into the egg trays. The students were quite excited and were very engaged in the activity. Some even personalized their trays and owned them. Some were curious to know when this activity will be done again. Additionally, students were educated on other ways that eggshells can be recycled in agriculture, which include:
– Garden fertilizer. Eggshells are rich in calcium. …
– Add to birdseed. …
– Seed starting containers. …
– Sprinkle the eggshells around your garden to deter pests.
– Improve the quality of your compost.
The DNaR said it was hopeful that this recycling initiative will encourage students to look at their trash in a new light.
A special Thank you is extended to the Principal and staff of Adrian T. Hazel Primary School, including teachers of the Student Support Unit- Mrs. Jacqueline Fleming- Hodge (Tr. Jackie), and Ms. Ijernique Gumbs (Tr. Ijernique ). Profound gratitude is also extended to Ms. Nekisha Garraway, and colleagues of the Department of Natural Resources- Ms. Melissa Meade- (Chief Natural Resources Officer), and Mr. Sheldon Richardson- Natural Resource Assistant- Agricultural.
All are encouraged to become recycling heroes by being innovative and turning trash into treasure. If in doubt, remember the three Rs- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Remember, only you can make a difference- recycle as if your life depends on it.