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April is Earth Month! Dr. Norman Bethune CI Demonstrates Outstanding Environmental Action

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Three students from Dr. Norman Bethune CI’s Environmental Action Team collect donations at the 2023 Clothing and Textiles DriveWhen it comes to taking action to help the environment, staff and students at Dr. Norman Bethune CI continue to demonstrate a deep commitment to making a difference. Having been a Platinum Eco School since 2009, the school community is guided by Bethune’s Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and their champion lead teacher, Judy Tutchener. 

Throughout the year, BEAT is responsible for organizing a number of impactful events and activities, including a recycling centre in the school’s cafeteria, a birdseed ornament fundraiser, and educating the community on the importance of reducing single use plastics.

Last year, one of the school’s most impactful initiatives was a week-long Clothing and Textile Drive to help divert textile waste from landfills. Students researched and selected a reliable organization for the donation to ensure that the items would be able to help those in need. 

In addition, BEAT also researched facts, statistics and different ways to prevent textile waste, and displayed this information on a board at the donation station to draw attention to the issue and educate staff and students. 

Clear plastic bags containing some of the clothing and textiles donated to Dr. Norman Bethune CI’s Environmental Action Team’s 2023 Clothing and Textiles Drive.Did you know?

  • North Americans send over 10 million tonnes of clothing to landfills annually, in which 95% can be reused or recycled. Within the 95%, only 15% is actually donated or recycled, and the remaining 85% ends up in landfills.
  • On average, Canadian households throw out 81 pounds of textiles yearly.
  • It takes about 27 bathtubs (2650L) of water to make a single shirt, and approximately 69 bathtubs (6800L) to make a pair of jeans.
  • Textile production releases roughly 2.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, which is approximately 8-10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Bethune's 2023 Clothing and Textile drive was a huge success, with 57.75 kgs of textiles donated and diverted from landfills thanks to this campaign. If your school is interested in taking action on climate change through a textile drive, please contact