They care about the environment, and so they wanted to do something about it. A group of students at Belmont Elementary put their leadership skills into action to help educate their peers about steps that can be taken to fight climate change.

The group of students in Mrs. Bournelis’ grade 6 class brought in Meat Free Week and encouraged the whole school to take part during May 1- May 7.

“Meat Free Week is a campaign that I started with my friends and it’s where you don’t eat meat for a week,” said Libby one of the main organizers. “I started it because we think that climate change is a big problem and it’s really affecting our planet and we think that we should do something about it.”

As part of the campaign, the students developed a website explaining the initiative and created a video on climate change and the impacts meat production has on the environment. The website contains helpful resources for students and families.

“We made a few presentations and announcements and if students wanted to take the pledge they can go to our website and look at what kind of recipes and things we had done,” explained Elle, a student organizer.

This was the second year of the campaign. The students were able to get creative thanks to a community award for their hard work last year. With the financial support they were able to increase student excitement and engagement by handing out campaign swag such as magnets, “Save the Earth” buttons and even purchasing soil for the school’s garden.

The students encountered success despite challenges and having to adapt their plans due to COVID-19 restrictions at the school.

“This year we couldn’t really go into classes, so we did more stuff outside like we got some soil for the garden beds and we got some people who did Meat Free Week to come and help us,” added Elle.

The students are hoping these small changes can make an impact on the world.

“You know sometimes you think with big problems like this, you can’t really make a difference, it’s going to be the adults that are going to have to solve it, but I learned that I can do it too. I don’t need to just wait for someone else to do it for me,” says Ruby, another student organizer.

For more information about Meat Free Week, visit this webpage here.

This story has been reproduced with permission from School District 35 (Langley). The original posting can be found here.