HIGHLANDS RANCH - For Cougar Run Elementary students in teacher Sarah Dimino's second grade class, Earth Day is about turning something old into something new.
"We kind of planted a seed with the students. [They're] coming up with a project where they could make a difference in our community," Dimino said.
Students did their research and found that plastic grocery bags can pose problems to the environment.
"Disposable bags are a problem, and they kill animals, and they get into the ocean, and that's bad," second grader Olivia Becker said.
Avery Young says plastic grocery bags cause problems in the landfills, too.
"It takes like a thousand years to dispose plastic bags," second grader Avery said.
So, the class found an efficient and inexpensive way to create reusable bags. They are taking old T-shirts, cutting them up, and creating cloth bags out of them by tying shut the bottom of the shirt-opening.
"It's easy to make, and you're not using anything that are expensive," second grader Hunter Dell said. "It's things that are in your house, basically."
Over the past six weeks, students held a T-shirt drive to collect old shirts from around the school community. Then, they spent countless hours at school and at home making more than 500 bags to distribute to every student at Cougar Run on Earth Day.
"The idea that a bag lasts for a thousand years in a landfill I think really hit home for them," Dimino said.
Each bag also has a QR tag, which will send people to two YouTube videos the class created. One is a how-to video on creating reusable bags out of shirts. The other video is a persuasive piece on why people should stop using plastic grocery bags.
"We wanted them to know that it was a big problem," Olivia said.
Dimino says the students also want to sell the T-shirt bags the local farmer's market to make money to support the school garden.
Olivia says this is great way to celebrate Earth Day.
"It's a day where we help the environment," Olivia said.
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