By Lyonel Doherty
Did you know that one battery can save eight lives?
That’s why Liane Jurcic’s class at Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School is so excited.
In fact, the school wants to become a hub for people to drop off their used batteries to help save impoverished lives in developing countries like Ethiopia.
Eight-year-old Sasha Zeeman explains that the zinc from the batteries is put into needles and injected into people who need it to survive. She likes the fact that a single battery can save eight people, which makes her very “happy.”
Jurcic says Tuc-el-Nuit is affiliated with the “Me to We” charity program that helps different villages around the world, where starvation and child labour are commonplace.
She notes that buying a necklace or bracelet online provides clean water to these people, and buying a goat for a family provides them with much-needed milk.
“What I didn’t know was that these countries actually don’t get zinc in their diet, whereas we do.”
Jurcic says it’s good for kids to know about the things they take for granted.
“What we really want to do is become a hub for Oliver to drop off their batteries and hopefully save some lives and recycle.”
The school is being environmentally responsible by recycling plastic that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
Hanging up in the hallways are photographs of endangered species that the students want to save by proper recycling.
“We’re just trying as a school to become more aware of what’s going on in the world,” Jurcic says.
She notes that a lot of things don’t get recycled and end up in a landfill, which takes away habitat for animals that eventually die.
Animals (and mammals) also ingest plastic. For example, a sperm whale in Indonesia was found with 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach last fall.
Jurcic says it takes 450 years to decompose one plastic water bottle. “It’s killing our habitat and we’re trying to discourage that.”
Student Kaela Roussel says their goal is to save other species, not just their own.
“We’re going to save people with the batteries and save animals and try to make sure there is not all these endangered animals.”
Roussel says what she has learned the most is how batteries (zinc) can save people.
“My favourite part is saving animals and people.”
Zeeman says she likes saving animals, such as the giant panda.
“I don’t have a favourite because they’re all so cute.”