The Eco Tigers, a team of seventh- and eighth-grade students All Saints’ Episcopal Day School, were named First Place winners in the final round of the seventh-annual Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers young people to learn about the environment and take action to improve it.
The students received $15,000 in first place awards.
After first competing in round one of the Challenge, the All Saints’ Eco Tigers earned $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher and school. They were one of only 32 teams nationwide to win in round one, out of 1,500 students that competed. That win secured the team an invitation to participate in the Final Challenge for a chance at one of two $30,000 grand prizes and eight $15,000 first-place awards.
In round one, The Eco Tigers tackled the goal of making the All Saints’ campus a plastic water bottle-free environment. The students and their faculty advisor calculated that more than 33,000 bottles were being sold or distributed throughout a school year. Students met with the school administration and parent association to determine the best way to make this a reality.
The team began initiating the use of reusable cups, compostable cups and refillable bottles, gaining more support and creating more awareness with each event. Students were responsible for implementation of the plan and reported on the results.
For the final challenge, all 32 finalist teams were asked to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world through innovative ideas that are communicated to a wide audience.
The Eco Tigers set out to educate the community about plastic bags as an environmental issue. They began by educating the All Saints community regarding the need to recycle plastic bags, their proper disposal and the methods of recycling and repurposing the bags. The students and their faculty advisor extended the awareness beyond just the school campus to the school’s sister school, St. Paul’s in Gascogne, Haiti.
After establishing plastic bag collection receptacles on the Day School campus, the collected bags were repurposed as jump ropes and shoulder bags and taken to Haiti to be shared with the community at St. Paul’s.
The students submitted their final project for review on Jan. 27.
For more information, visit www.aseds.org or call 602-274-4866.