Staying Safe and Making A Difference
Phoebe Yu

Each month, the Service Club focuses its efforts on one specific theme, whether it’s animal advocacy, support for seniors, or food security. For February and March, we decided to focus on mental health and environmentalism, considering the impact that COVID-19 has had on everyone. 

For these two months, we dedicated our time to one project, which consists of two components. The main objective is to gather funds to purchase a Disposable Mask Zero Waste Box from TerraCycle, a company that offers sustainable recycling services. Considering the large number of students who use disposable masks, perhaps for their breathability and comfortability, getting this box made sense. As a school, we hope to reduce the landfill from disposable masks.

That brings us to the other component of the project: gathering the funds. The pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another, both physically and mentally. Considering all the changes that have occurred around the school, students and faculty may have experienced confusion and stress. Combining the sanitization and mental well-being priorities for this pandemic, we decided to craft and sell essential oil-infused hand sanitizer.

After several service meetings and brainstorming sessions, we decided to gather supplies through Amazon (an essential oil set and small hand sanitizer bottles). Figuring out the exact ingredients for this mixture was quite difficult. Some recipes online sounded fine, but either the ingredients were too costly, or we weren’t able to readily obtain the supplies. Finally, we stumbled on the perfect recipe and proceeded to our prototyping stage. 

Service members were eager to participate in the experimental stage of this project! As a team, we collectively persevered through the trial and error stages. At one point, the mixture became too watery; at another point, it smelled interesting - not in a good way! It took several tries to finally get it right, but everyone was optimistic about the final product. Special thanks to Ms. Olafson and Ms. Holland for guiding us through the mixture process!

In the end, we crafted a variety of scented hand sanitizers, including ylang-ylang, lavender, and lemongrass. At this point in time, we have sold most of our stock and have nearly reached the price that covers the disposable mask recycling box. We will be continuing our sale, while simultaneously advocating for mental health and environmental awareness!

Here are a few testimonials from service club members:

"I am very grateful to have helped create hand sanitizers with the service club! Everyone working on the project was very dedicated, and I enjoyed bottling the hand sanitizer mixture with my fellow peers. I am hopeful that the money raised from this project will help to keep our masks out of landfills. Great work everyone!” - Rachel M, Grade 9 

“I am so glad to have been able to help create hand sanitizer for this amazing fundraiser! All of my peers working on this project were very positive and hardworking. Millions of disposable masks have been ending up in the landfill throughout the pandemic, and hopefully the investment in proper disposal of these face masks will create a positive difference in our environment. Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to this project!” - Mya G, Grade 9 

 Contributed by Phoebe Yu, Grade 12 Student and Service Steward