Boisterous enthusiasm for Climate Action Ripple Effect summit in Vernon

'Blown away' by students

If the excitement in the room was any indication, we are in good hands.

Dozens of youth teams crowded the Vernon Recreation Centre auditorium Thursday for Vernon's first Climate Action Ripple Effect (CARE) summit.

The cheers were loud and the applause thunderous as winners were announced in the summit's various competition areas.

Climate-action projects created by area students in grades 7-12 were showcased and judged.

First place winner was the Passion 4 Fashion project by Olivia Thompson and Ruby Kaltiainen, Grade 11 students at W.L. Seaton Secondary School.

The girls researched textile waste and found 29% of textiles that end up in landfills could have been reused in some manner.

Overall, 95% of textiles can be recycled, said Kaltiainen.

The students teamed up with Value Village, which saved denim and other textiles that couldn't be donated or resold.

The girls then used the material to make reusable grocery bags, which they sold for $15 each. Profits from the pre-orders will go to the Fairy Gradmothers Foundation, which supplies gowns to grads who otherwise couldn't afford one.

"It's one more form of recycling," said Thompson.

She said the win "feels really good" and the pair would like to continue with the project, potentially turning it into a business on Etsy or Facebook Marketplace.

"Bore this, I really didn't know how (how) fast fashion has such an impact on our planet," said Kaltiainen.

Judge Leanne Hammond of the Community Foundation North Okanagan said she was "blown away" by the "quality, commitment and enthusiasm" shown in the students' projects.

"They were really impressive," she said.

Other winners included:

  • Nature & Biodiversity: CARE Botanicals, Awaking Inquiry & Adventure Okanagan, Camryn Mackiewich, Victoria Rush, Evangeline Schiehl
  • Food & Agriculture: Power of Pollinators, Kalamalka Secondary, Dehlen Mcdonald, Jonah Deans, Keaton Leif, Grady Barge
  • Energy & Buildings: Low Cost Air Heater, W.L. Seaton, Brodie Bieber, Chase Ashmore, Dayton Mason, Evan Robertson
  • Waste Reduction: Polymers & Polypores, AIAO, Anna MacDuff, Aidan Spicer, Kayden Shaverr, Jacob Adkins
  • Active Transportation: Green Off Roading, W.L. Seaton, Kora Simms
  • Community Resilience: Eco Anxiety in Youth, W.L. Seaton, Danica Cowley, Senna Entner, Brooke Sjoberg, Brooke Hansen
  • 1st Place overall: Passion 4 Fashion
  • 2nd Place overall: City Kids' Guide to Nature, Clarence Fulton Secondary, Scarlett Witham, Maerub Siddique
  • 3rd Place overall: Eco Anxiety in Youth
  • Students' Choice: CARE Botanicals

The event was presented by Students Without Borders Academy and the Fresh Outlook Foundation.

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