North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure and Environmental Student Maureen Nadeau with Friends of the Environment award winners at the June 20 council meeting.

The 3-Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Kids in North Cowichan made a new friend this June, Wally the Waste Wizard,

Kids in North Cowichan made a new friend this June, Wally the Waste Wizard, but really, the most important friendship they forged was with the environment.

North Cowichan’s environmental student Maureen Nadeau presented her report on the municipality’s environmental school programs to the July 20 meeting of Council. She also presented Friend of the Environment Waste Wizard certificates to students who sent in winning entries to a contest centered around their new friend, Wally.

For six weeks Nadeau, a fourth year environmental sciences student at the University of British Columbia, delivered environmental workshops in North Cowichan schools.

The activities aimed at familiarizing students, and their families, with recycling services in the community and encouraging better use. “This year the program was very successful, able to reach 1,500 students,” Nadeau said.

Two of the activities, a Recycling Relay, and another game based on the familiar TV show Jeopardy, challenged students in fun ways to know their recycling stuff.

Wally the Waste Wizard was an add on that got students thinking of creative ways to recycle materials for reuse.

“This year we asked students to create something for Wally. Whether it be a house for him to live in, or a friend to play with, the choice was their’s, to use their imagination. The only catch was that this item be made out of entirely reused items.”

The result: robots, houses, boats and dozens of other nifty creations that kept usable materials out of North Cowichan’s waste stream.