This year, the BEAT’s mission was to promote better waste streaming habits in the residences and raise awareness of the plastic waste generated by the pandemic. As part of this initiative, we encouraged each House to choose a conservation project to support knowing BEAT would funnel all of the money from recycled refundables across campus into these charities; over $100 was raised for each House.
The fall meetings were used to plan activities for the year including a well-attended hike up beautiful Mt Baldy and activities in the school garden where, in addition to a Fall clean up, students harvested a host of vegetables for the Mill Bay Food Bank. A number of students dropped by McNeill’s to make masks and shopping bags from old T-shirts using a sewless method and a fair amount of creativity.
After Midterm, there was a warm clothing drive in each residence in conjunction with B-Well which filled several dozen garbage bags with coats, sweaters, gloves and toques. As the holidays approached, students volunteered to make insulated, waterproof sleeping bags from recycled materials for the homeless and a total of 12 of these were delivered to a charity in Duncan.
The second term included more opportunities to learn about global issues and volunteering to plant seeds for the growing season in the school garden. During Spirit Week, a local clean up drew nearly 200 students who scoured the local area for trash which included everything from car doors to a box of discarded spray cans. Students also had fun around a beach fire roasting marshmallows and making smores. Adrienne ran the first ever BEAT interhouse “Amazing Race” with a waste streaming section as well as stations where students needed to orienteer by answering environmental questions.
Third term was focused around Earth Week and began with a Sunday hike up Cobble Hill Mountain. The BEAT encouraged environmental action through the “Write for Environmental Rights” campaign and a pledge wall. There was a chance to do “Prep” in the school garden with a number of students choosing to come up with their blankets and books. Some planted cauliflowers and turnips! Some even did prep. Mr Miller offered his bird boxes made by students last year and there was a chance to paint them before they were positioned around the playing fields; the fields look extra special with the new decor - and the birds enjoy them just as much!
Earth Day was celebrated by students and staff in blue and green and many attended an evening ice cream campfire activity on the beach. Additionally, BC Green Party Leader Sonia Fursteneau delivered a thoughtful Earth Day message (by video) at Assembly. May continued with several events, including a schoolwide outdoor movie night over Midterm. Though our core group of organizers remained small, it was a keen and energized bunch superbly led by BEAT Captain, Adrienne Roy, who devoted (literally) hundreds of volunteer hours over the course of the year. My thanks to all who attended and helped out, your efforts make a difference and count for more than you realize, particularly in a pandemic when people tend to feel overwhelmed by the problems we face as a planet.
Mr David McCarthy & Adrienne Roy, Beat Captain