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Filling the EARTH’S Bucket!

Posted by on June 7, 2012

On your MARK, get SET ... and GO ... fill the Earth's bucket! Clean 'er UP!

Today, we took part in Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge!  We weren’t sure whether it would work for us today, or not, because Calgary has had some REALLY unsettled weather the last couple of days.  Last night, MANY of us were unable to get a good solid sleep because … JUST as we were about to doze off … BOOM … another BLINDING bolt of LIGHTNING and a HUGE clap of THUNDER would suddenly jolt us all WIDE awake AGAIN!  There were even warnings for TORNADO watches all around the Calgary area. Luckily, though, tornadoes are PRETTY rare for our city.  They DO happen … but … they are very few and FAR between!  Phew!

This afternoon, when we spotted the FIRST rays of sunshine … we saw our opening and WENT for it!  We gathered our plastic bags to pick UP the garbage, our garbage bag to collect the trash strewn around our school playground and ANOTHER garbage bag to collect containers for RECYCLING.

The plastic bags helped to protect our hands from the dirt and germs! We were SO excited to be doing "our part"!

WHY?  Well, because WE believe that Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge fit PERFECTLY with our journey this year.  You are right – it had nothing to do with our work building a library in Q’enqo Peru.  But, it had EVERYTHING to do with making a positive DIFFERENCE in the world … which IS what we are also working toward in Peru!  We’ve written a LOT about being change makers, “paying it forward”, working together and filling invisible buckets.  Today was OUR day to fill the EARTH’S invisible bucket.  And … WHAT a job THAT was!

What follows are the thoughts of the Grade Three Bloggers after a DOUBLE 20 Minute Makeover Challenge:

WHY are we doing this? Well ... because the Earth is IMPORTANT! Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The earth laughs in FLOWERS". We LOVE that quote!

“Today we had a DISGUSTING day because we did a 20 Minute Makeover!  I bet you’re wondering WHAT are they DOING?  We are picking up garbage to change the world!  We did 40 minutes of picking up garbage.  That equals about 16 hours of cleaning for ONE person!  We made a difference in the world because we picked up litter.  Cleaning up Calgary is fun … but DISGUSTING!  My bag smelled HORRIFYING!  If people started picking up their garbage, we would NOT have to DO this!”  ~Zack

We didn't get as many bags of garbage as we THOUGHT we would ... that's a GOOD thing!

“The 20 Minute Challenge was SO hard.  I felt disgusted by all the things that I picked up.  Some of the kids picked up bags that were muddy and full of bandages.  Talking about the Makeover … it is SO selfish how some people think the world is somewhere to just THROW garbage!  Imagine how the world would be if no one would litter.  I bet it would look WONDERFUL!”  ~Zahra

Good thing we used BAGS to pick the garbage up ... some of it was pretty DISGUSTING!

“Imagine a world with no garbage.  That would make a HUGE difference.  We kept ourselves healthy in the challenge by not handling garbage with BARE hands.  When we did our challenge … we only recycled one plastic bottle.  But, much more than just THAT … I was so disgusted because we picked up chewed gum, cigarette butts, used bandaides, a baggy full of brown water and a bandaide floating inside, used tissues, etc.  Why did we do this?  We did this to help the environment and to challenge ourselves with Mayor Nenshi’s clean-up.  How did we do this?  We did this with plastic bags instead of bare hands!  We are proud of our work for Calgary!”  ~Julia & Sophie H.

“Today, my class and I took part in Mayor Nenshi’s challenge to do the 20 Minute Makeover!  It was good to know that I was making a difference and it was a lot of fun … but … it was QUITE gross!  As I picked up a plastic bag covered in mud I thought … if people didn’t litter, Calgary wouldn’t be so FULL of GARBAGE!  I think that Mayor Nenshi’s challenge is great because Calgary has tons of garbage!”  ~Martin

We have a HUGE area of land to cover ... thank GOODNESS we are FULL of energy!

“Today we had a twenty minute makeover.  It was picking up garbage from the ground.  There was disgusting stuff like paper all wet and muddy, bandages, paper and chocolate.  We got this challenge from Mayor Nenshi.  We thought we would get two bags but we only got one.  To make the world a better place, we did it as a class.  Some of the garbage was worse than we thought.  But, eventually, we got through it!  It was very fun.  We hope no one will throw garbage on the ground and litter again!”  ~Rijul

“Yuck!  That was disgusting!  You might find this post not so CLEAN!  We went out with plastic bags on our hands to pick up garbage.  You might be wondering what in the world we are talking about!!!  Well, we will tell you what we are talking about.  Our class has been thinking about the Mayor’s 20 minute challenge.  We did our little 20 minute challenge as a class.  One of our classmates found a plastic bag full of water with a bandaid floating in it! Another student in our class found a plastic knife.  We even found garbage in the puddles.  Some other people told us that it was SO disgusting that they said they were going to throw up!  We did a DOUBLE 20 minute challenge because we did 40 minutes.  When we came in we were so tired that we had to have a “wind down” stage so that we could settle down!”  ~Alexia & Sophie G.

Hmm - a COAT ... better NOT throw THAT away ... let's take it in to the Lost and FOUND!

“Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge was FUN and GROSS at the SAME time!  Just before we went out, Mrs. Renton asked if we had any questions.  “What are we using for our HANDS?” someone asked!  “You’ll see!” said Mrs. Renton … and later, she handed out plastic bags so that no YUCKIES got on our hands!  We actually did 40 minutes instead of 20 … that’s 20 more minutes of picking up gross and disgusting stuff, like soggy wet jackets, chewed up and spat out in a snickers bar wrapper pre-chewed gum!  Wet newspaper with yogurt on top, lip gloss, (kind of NOT gross, except for the spit on it), a shampoo lid filled with mud, dirty bandaides, broken lego and LOTS more!  By the end of the clean up, the garbage bag was 3/4 full … and THAT wasn’t even HALF the school yard!”  ~Ava

“Today, we did Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Challenge.  You’re probably going to find this post VERY disgusting!  We had plastic bags on our hands … that is how we picked up the garbage.  Mrs. Renton said if we found glass, to call 311, (that is MRS. RENTON!)  When we started, we found a lot of garbage by the play park.  After we found all of that garbage, we went to the soccer field.  When we got to the soccer field, we saw water bottles, containers, snack wrappers, etc.  After we covered the soccer field, we went to the mini school and cleaned.”  ~Jesse

Remember ... NEVER pick up broken glass or OTHER dangerous items - call the TEACHER over to help you out!

“GROSS!  I can’t believe that everyone left such a barrage of rubbish on the ground … coming close to messing up the EARTH!  🙁  That is probably OK to SOME folks, but not to ME!!!  It makes me STEAMING MAD just THINKING about it!  That’s why we got together to pick up LOADS of garbage!  EWWW!  That was the MOST extremely revolting moment of my life!!!  Why do folks all over the world like to junk up our only home planet?  I like to throw garbage in the trash can and RECYCLE paper and plastic!”  ~Galen

“Cleaning up Calgary is fun, I said as I was cleaning up the most terrifying of trash with my friends Brenden and Max!  The #1 GROSSEST thing was the soggy paper towel smothered with mud.  I picked up THREE of those!  The second grossest thing I picked up was styrofoam ALSO smothered with mud.  I found TWO of those!”  ~Damian

It's AMAZING what you can accomplish as a TEAM!

“When we got outside, we got plastic bags on our hands, to pick up garbage for the 20 Minute Makeover.  The garbage was stinky and all covered in mud.  I feel great to help the world because it feels good.  We all found a LOT of paper and other stuff.  The grossest thing I found was a used bandaide.  It would be a LOT easier if people put garbage into the garbage cans!”  ~Brenden

“On June 6th, 2012, the Grade Three Bloggers went on a superb but QUITE disgusting adventure cleaning up our school grounds.  It all started when Mrs. Renton found out about Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge.  They, she told us we might try the challenge as a class some time.  We all got really, really EXCITED!  We did it this week … even though it was quite disgusting picking up TONS of rubbish.”  ~Mya & Kaylee

“Today was the AMAZING Mayor’s 20 Minute Makeover for Calgary.  If you don’t know what it is … it’s cleaning up Calgary!  Before we went out, Mrs. Renton told us about the safety rules in the 20 Minute Makeover.  When I went outside … I … saw … icky … garbage!  I found many gross things, like: wet paper, rubber bands, broken glass, a bag filled with dirt, a small muddy ball, and lots of other things.  The good thing about the challenge is: you fill the Earth’s bucket, you clean it up too.  I hope people respect the Earth by putting garbage in the garbage bin.  If people do that, the Earth would be a more peaceful and CLEAN world!”  ~Elijah & Jun

Remember ... no CLIMBING to get at the garbage! Stay SAFE!

“If we found glass that was broken, we would say 3-1-1, and then our teacher would come and pick it up!  We all picked up at LEAST 30 pieces of garbage!  Max found 2 or 3 Tim Horton’s coffee cups on the ground … sitting in a big shwack of mud!  That was the MOST dirtiest job of the day.  We had the MOST fun EVER!”  ~Max & Tormod

“Ewww!  This is disgusting!  That’s what I said as I picked up HORRIBLE garbage!  You may not believe it but my class went outside to do 40 minutes of cleaning when Mayor Nenshi’s challenge is actually called the 20 Minute Makeover Challenge.  To keep us safe, Mrs. Renton told us that we were not allowed to pick up needles or broken glass.  And, we were NOT allowed to take dangerous risks to GET the garbage … like climbing trees and walls!  It’s a good thing NONE of us did that!  I had an EXTREMELY fun time picking up garbage and sure hope we can do it AGAIN!”  ~Natasha

Stay in GROUPS ... and stay within SIGHT!

“The Grade Threes got outside and did the 20 Minute Makeover for Battalion Park!  Some of us really got grossed out … you would NOT believe what we found: cigarette butts, bags filled with water and bandaides … and LOTS of other horrifying garbage.  If we did NOT do that “makeover” our school would probably look like a small … LANDFILL!”  ~Eric

“Eww!  Why are people littering?  You might be wondering what we’re talking about.  Well, today, we challenged our class to take Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge.  First, before we started, Mrs. Renton gave us instructions.  One of the instructions was to NOT pick up glass … but … call 3-1-1, (Mrs. Renton), and NOT to pick up NEEDLES … or any LIVING things.  Then, we went outside and we picked up garbage.”  ~Larissa & Thalia 

WHAT ... 40 MINUTES has already gone BY? Man ... that was FAST ... and LOOK at how GOOD things look!

“Imagine a world with NO garbage!  That would make a HUGE difference!  We kept ourselves healthy in the Mayor’s Challenge, by NOT handling the garbage with our bare hands.  When we did our challenge, we only recycled ONE plastic bottle.  I was SO disgusted because we picked up chewed gum, cigarette butts, used bandaides, a baggie filled with brown water and a bandaide floating inside, used tissues, etc.  Why did we do this?  We did this to help the environment and challenge ourselves in Mayor Nenshi’s clean up! We are PROUD of our work for Calgary!”  ~Julia & Sophie H.

A picture of Mayor Nenshi "kicking off" this FOUR day challenge in downtown Calgary on June 6th, 2012!

Well … we DOUBLED the challenge time and we feel PRETTY good about stepping up to do our part.  Calgary is a BEAUTIFUL city … and it looks even BETTER when it isn’t strewn with garbage! 

One LAST thing to do ... put the garbage in its RIGHTFUL place!!!

After scrubbing our hands THOROUGHLY … we recorded some final thoughts:

  • helping to clean up Calgary was FUN!
  • man, it would be a LOT easier to keep Calgary clean if people didn’t litter!
  • we wish people would work TOGETHER to help take care of the environment!
  • we were SO grossed out that we had to get the THESAURUS to help us with EXTREMELY juicy words!
  • we feel GOOD about helping to take care of the Earth!

We wonder:

  • will YOU take part in a 20 Minute Makeover … even if you DON’T live in Calgary?


6 Responses to Filling the EARTH’S Bucket!

  1. Daytime Grandma & Grandpa

    Good for you all for participating in Mayor Nenshi’s challenge to keep Calgary clean. You did a fabulous job and even went above and beyond with doubling the efforts (working for 40 minutes instead of 20)!!! The school yard looks beautiful and clean. We walk with friends every day and when we see garbage on the road (this seems to happen more on garbage day) we make sure that we pick it up too. As you all know, when everyone does their part, it makes the world a much better place!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Daytime Grandma and Grandpa!

      Sorry it has taken us a while to get back to you … we have been busy writing our Provincial Achievement Exams. We knew we wanted to do at LEAST 20 minutes to meet Mayor Nenshi’s challenge … but we had SO much fun that time just flew by. Who knew that CLEANING could be so much fun. When some us go walking with our families we also pick up garbage. That is DEFINITELY filling the WORLD’S bucket!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

      • Ross Mannell

        Hello Grade 3,

        A week off commenting while working on the DVD certainly sets me behind on commenting but I have almost completely caught up.

        Back in the Middle Ages and even relatively more recent years, people weren’t aware of bacteria, viruses or the many contaminants we know of today. They might have passed disease off as a punishment from God or a curse from someone.

        When the dreaded black (bubonic) plague struck Europe in the 14th Century, it’s estimated 25 million people, maybe around half of Europe’s population at the time, died from the disease. Doctors of the time thought it was caused by bad air from unburied bodies and poor sanitation. They recommended people move away from the contaminated air and into clean air. This seemed to help in some cases.

        These days we know fleas living on rats spread the disease. When the flea bit a person to suck their blood, some bacteria pass from the flea to those bitten. What the Middle Ages doctors thought helped only did because people were being moved away from the rats and their fleas. We know the link was poor hygiene and rat infestation was the cause.

        We need to keep our environment clean.

        I was aware of the problems with the decomposition of various things in our world. This is why recycling is so important. It not only saves resources, it reduces landfill from our waste.

        Here is a thought… Perhaps one day in the future, there will be people making a living by mining old landfills in Canada, U.S.A., U.K. and Australia to recover resources from what we throw away today. In poorer countries of the world, there are already people searching landfills to recover things to sell.

        When I was a boy, plastics weren’t all that common. There were no supermarkets or malls and packaging was much less. When I went to the corner shop for flour or sugar or a packet of biscuits (cookies), the man in the shop would put them in paper bags from large refillable tins.

        By the time I was in Grade 3, we had our first supermarkets. The first mall (we call shopping centres) didn’t appear in Australia until I was 10. Bigger shops didn’t want to use the old ways so packaging increased and so did waste.

        Rubber – Each year a mountain of old car tyres (tires) are thrown away. The children of Q”enqo know one use for them and so do some manufacturers who have made things out of them but I once saw something interesting. A huge pile of tyres had caught fire. Huge amounts of black, acrid (smelly, irritating) smoke was in the sky yet there was a black substance running from the fire. It was oil. One day there may be a cheap, environmentally friendly way to recycle tyres.

        The future can be good if we learn to care for the world we live in.

        Teacher, NSW, Australia

        • The Grade Three Bloggers

          Hi Ross!

          Thank you for this awesome comment! We have learned SO much from you this past year and we are SO grateful that you came along on this journey with us!

          It is amazing how just one little flea can make a disease that causes so much death. A hole MOUNTAIN of car tires can be recycled to make car tire sandals. Have you ever seen a swing made out of a car tire? Mrs. Renton’s boys had a car tire swing that was made to look like a HORSE!

          But, many of us have used swings from tires that are just tied to a rope!

          We wish that there could be a different way to get all the oil out of the car tires … the smoke would be dangerous and it would pollute. But human beings and inventions means LOTS of ways to do things. In the FUTURE we BET someone will invent a way to recycle old car tires in a way that everyone and the earth stays safe.

          You are right. The future CAN be good if we learn to take care of the world. We are working HARD to do OUR part!

          Thank you, Ross. Over and out … our LAST day of Grade Three and Mrs. Renton can’t see the KEYBOARD any more because of the tears!!!

          The Grade Three Bloggers ♥

  2. Ross Mannell

    Hola Global Grade 3,

    I can see you all enjoyed being part of Mayor Nenshi’s challenge. This means you have realised keeping the environment clean is a positive experience and benefits the future. As often happens when I read your posts, it set me thinking and before long I added another extended comment. Did you know you have had more of these extended comments than any other class I visit?

    Here is a link to the latest…

    I hope you all enjoy your final days in the school year. I know you will go on to Grade 4 having gathered a number of skills for the future.

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola Ross!

      Thank you for your wonderful compliment … it made us feel GREAT to know that our blog posts have inspired you as MUCH as your comments have inspired AND taught us!

      It was hard to believe that Marcus Aurelius wrote the beehive quote almost 2000 years ago. It makes us wonder if littering was a big problem 1800 YEARS ago too! It MUST have been if Aurelius was writing about taking care of the earth and the earth’s creatures! We know there weren’t as many as 7 billion people living on the earth … like there are now. Mrs. Renton told us a little about the Middle Ages. Some of us have seen some National Geographic shows on T.V. that have told us about what towns and cities were like in the Middle Ages. There were a lot of diseases, like the black plague, back then because when people went to the bathroom, or they had scraps left over from dinner, and they would just throw ALL this stuff out the window. People walking below, in the streets, would get dumped on and covered with all kinds of disgusting garbage. They also almost NEVER washed themselves, either. Rats and other animals that can cause diseases LOVED to live in the streets of these towns and cities because it was easy to get food!

      One thing we discovered was that when there weren’t a lot of people on the earth … there wasn’t as much garbage because people lived off the land. We are SO lucky to live in a time where people recycle … and cities take good care of landfills. But … we did a little more research because we wanted to know if recycling and taking stuff to the landfill was really working. When we dug a little further to find out how long it takes for things that SHOULD be recycled to decompose if they were sent to the landfill instead, boy … were WE surprised.

      Here is some of the shocking information we discovered:

      – glass takes 1 to 2 million years to decompose
      – plastic bags take 20 to 1000 years to decompose, depending on the kind of bag
      – aluminum cans can take 200 to 500 years to decompose.

      To read MORE … check out THIS blog:
      Wow. On top of THAT … we discovered that gum NEVER decomposes because it is made with non-biodegradable materials like latex or rubber.

      We don’t think that picking up garbage should be a punishment … it should be something that EVERYONE does because it is the RIGHT way to take care of the earth and the people and animals that live on it.

      Ross, we have learned SO much from you. Thank you for helping us to learn by stretching our learning and helping us to grow our wings.

      We have one LAST post that is ALMOST ready to publish … we hope you check it out!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

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