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Riverside Public School making biodegradable poppies for Remembrance Day


A London, Ont. elementary school is trying to make Remembrance Day ceremonies more sustainable, swapping out traditional plastic poppies for homemade biodegradable ones.

Every student at Riverside Public School is making one as part of a Fanshawe College Initiative.

The college provides the school with construction paper, which is blended with hot water and psyllium powder to help the eventual pulp congeal.

Finally, before molding it into a poppy shape, actual poppy seeds are added.

"Sustainability and environmental projects are really near and dear to my heart," says Amy McCallum-Harris, a teacher and librarian at Riverside.

"It's a great opportunity to talk to kids about the poppy and why we wear them, but also talk about wasting plastic every year,” she says.A Riverside Public School student works on making their own biodegradable poppy on Nov. 1, 2022. (Carlyle Fiset/CTV News London)

The homemade poppies are meant to decompose, spreading their seeds. After Riverside's Remembrance Day ceremony, all of the students will bring their poppies to a nearby garden and plant them, hoping for a big poppy bloom next spring.

"It's really neat," says grade seven student, Lila Thompson. "It's like a double use. You can wear it for Remembrance Day, and then once you're done with them you've got beautiful poppies." 

*The Poppy Design is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under license Top Stories

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