Late afternoon on August 20th, a total of 8 families (15 energetic kids ages 2 to 10 years old and 11 adults) gathered at Garden City Park for our Greener Living event. After a quick introduction highlighting the importance of sustainable living and keeping our communities clean, we separated into 3 teams. Equipped with garbage picks, garbage bags, and, of course, disposable gloves for protection, we walked around the neighbourhood collecting trash from all sorts of places. Our littlest helpers trekked around the park with their parents on the hunt for things that were out of place while the older eagle-eyed kids searched the nearby school and the residential streets for litter to fill their bags. Along the way, passersby asked us what we were doing and thanked us for our hard work.

In just one hour’s time, we collected 6 heaping bags full of garbage! The kids were puffing with pride upon returning, each eager to share stories about what they saw and how much they had collected. One parent did not want to stop and come back because he found the whole process of cleaning up the park one tiny wrapper at a time surprisingly soothing, while other parents expressed shock at the sheer volume they had brought back because they didn’t realize how much litter was out there until they actually looked. Among the myriad of things we found, the most awkward find was undoubtedly the empty condom box lying next to a used pregnancy test, which was located on school grounds! It was a discussion that none of the parents were ready to have with any of the kids… The most interesting discovery would probably be the discarded VHS tape. The kids all hovered around this ancient relic from their parents’ younger days, trying to guess what it possibly could be. Oh, the things we all learned that day!

After we tied up the garbage bags and cleaned our hands, we all enjoyed some light snacks and juice together. One kid happily exclaimed that this was the most fun he had all week! As the evening air cooled and the sun slowly began to descend, we wrapped up the event, thanking each and every participant. Every family got to bring home a garbage picker, a little potted succulent plant, a pack of TruEarth laundry strips, and a dual pack of Swedish sponge cloths as a thank-you gift. The parents were happy to learn about some green products available in the market, and the kids promised to continue the important work of keeping their communities clean with their new garbage picks! I am happy to share that our event was a great SUCCESS!

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