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Bethune Collegiate walks to a green BEAT - Inside Toronto

Greenfest and garage sale set for Saturday

September 30, 2011
Danielle Milley
Inside Toronto

The Bethune Environmental Action Team wants to share its knowledge of all things green with the wider community.

BEAT is the environmental club at Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute. With 150 members it's done a good job of spreading environmental information through the school, so it's turned its attention to the wider community with the North Scarborough Greenfest and Community Garage Sale, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 1.

"We really felt that there was a real opportunity here. That there weren't a lot of community events like this in northeast Scarborough," said Sonya Goldberg, one of BEAT's four teacher advisors.

The event is being organized in conjunction with Live Green Toronto and its community animator for this area of Scarborough. It will feature a range of environmental organizations, including the Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation, Rouge Park and the Toronto Environmental Alliance, as well as smaller groups such as the Friends of the Rouge Watershed and the Toronto Chinese for Ecological Living.

"We also tried to bring in local environment organizations that normally don't get a lot of publicity," Goldberg said.

Planning for the event began in the spring and she said it's reached a frenzied state since school started.

In addition to environmental organizations, there will also be environmentally themed businesses such as EcoJot, which sells stationary products using 100 per cent recycled paper.

There will be a children's area with games and crafts organized with an environmental message.

People can learn about recycling, composting and energy conservation, and bring in items for proper disposal such as cellphones, batteries, eyeglasses and printer cartridges - in exchange for a tasty treat.

There will also be barbecued hot dogs for the first 400 people and refreshments.

To help draw in as many people as possible, the event will feature a garage sale with 30 members of the community selling previously loved items, which fits in with the green message.

"It's about the message of upcycling what would normally have gone in the garbage could go home with somebody else," Goldberg said.

Goldberg said all the organizers - the four staff advisors and BEAT's 16-member student leaders - have tried to incorporate a bit of environmental learning in every aspect of the event, for example they're using Styrofoam cups for beverages to let people know that Styrofoam is now recyclable in Toronto.

Admission is free. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethune C.I., 200 Fundy Bay Blvd.

As originally published here:

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