“I think we should try shame. Shame, shame shame on you! We can make them feel bad and then maybe people won’t litter,” Bella said.
“I prefer to call it ‘educational guilt-tripping’,” Carlo said.
“We could say, ‘If you ever want to see a cat again, don’t litter,'” Sandero added, telling his story about a cat choking on trash.
They continued to discuss the messages they wanted to share with the community after collecting and recording nearly 1,000 pieces of trash near their school during the past month. These messages would be written on the bike path in sidewalk chalk – an elementary attempt at spreading the word.
This was not their only method of sharing their feelings about our trash collection project. Earlier in the week, three PPOS students put together a presentation to share with the Pagosa Elementary School third-graders. The goal? To share information about their efforts and recruit them into help with clean up downtown along the bike path.
“You are close to the downtown bike path and we’d like you to clean up here,” Carlo said. “Then we can FaceTime about what you found. We’d like to know if you find a lot of trash or recycling. Did you see any trash or recycling bins?”
Arya gifted them a trash-collector kit, with data collection sheets created by students, trash bags and gloves. Zaiden explained the importance of our project.
“This will help the animals on land and in the rivers and the oceans. It will even probably help us,” Zaiden said. “And this town needs trash cans and recycle bins and we probably need compost bins, too.”
In an effort to seal the deal, the three returned to PPOS and shared their experience with the class, who worked together to write a persuasive letter to their elementary school counterparts. After addressing reasons why it’s a good idea to help, Shelton ended the letter with a call-to-action:
“They just need to know, we will help the Earth – and they can, too!”
Their work has been rewarded with an agreement: with only two-weeks left in school, Mr. Wolford’s class planned their clean-up and data collection. Collaboration has begun.