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Valley of Peace students create eco-friendly Christmas tree, promoting sustainability

Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2023. 10:32 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: In Valley of Peace, a small village in the Cayo District of Belize, a group of 13 high school students have combined creativity with environmental awareness by constructing an eco-friendly Christmas tree, using recycled plastic bottles. The 8-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide tree, built over four days, stands as a symbol of sustainability in the festive season.

The project, initiated by students from the Valley of Peace SDA Academy High School Environmental Club, draws inspiration from a 2014 Christmas recycled bottle initiative by the Natural Resource Management Program at the University of Belize. It was revived by the University’s Environmental Club in 2017-2018 and has now found new life post-Covid in the hands of high school students.

This initiative aims to highlight the importance of recycling and reducing single-use plastic. The tree, mainly made from repurposed Sprite and Coke bottles collected from the local area and Belmopan City, doubles as a striking art piece and a reminder of the necessity for environmental consciousness.

The lighting of the tree, now an annual event, took place on December 9th at 6:30 pm at the El Cooperativa El Progreso Compound, a central community store and a key supporter of the project, providing materials for the construction.

The initiative is part of a broader effort by the students to promote awareness about environmental issues and inspire a shift towards more sustainable practices. The students are committed to making this an ongoing tradition, hoping to extend their influence beyond their community and inspire similar actions across the nation.

This student-led project serves as an example of how young people can drive positive change in environmental practices. By transforming everyday waste into a festive symbol, the Valley of Peace students are highlighting the potential for sustainable practices to be integrated into cultural traditions, fostering a greener future.

 

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