In focus

 
 

Behring Point Primary School, Andros, Bahamas.

 
 

Background story

We can all make better choices and decisions, however, many of us are ill-informed, uninformed, or simply unaware of the alternatives available to the everyday products we’re used to. Children look up to those around them for advice and guidance, so we decided to create a special movement centered on conversation and education, starting with something as simple as a toothbrush.

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next steps

Saving the Blue president Annie Guttridge had previously worked with MABLE, an eco-friendly, bamboo toothbrush company, and after a number of discussions together they hatched a plan. Annie created a campaign on her social media platforms, and her objective was simple: to offer each child at a Bahamian school a bamboo toothbrush of their own. Could this simple gift inspire the children to look at conservation in a new way, and spark an interest in protecting the natural world?

“The children had never held a bamboo toothbrush before. It was exciting to see their reaction to change.”

— Annie Guttridge, President, Saving the Blue

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Support

Success! Within just a few days, over 70 MABLE brushes were secured, one for every child attending the school. On arrival to the Bahamas, Annie was able to say a few words on sustainability and product choices to each class, before she and guests presented the gifts to the eager children. The excited children opened the brushes immediately, as they’d never seen a wooden toothbrush before. Annie pointed out the texture of the MABLE brush, and how different it is from that of typical plastic toothbrushes. She also noted the biodegradable paper packaging and the lack of negative impact the brush itself would have to the environment of their small island once its useful life had ended.

Be the change

This simple, yet effective project not only gave the children an ecofriendly gift, it informed them of sustainable alternatives, and encouraged them to start a conversation with the adults in their lives, encouraging them to consider the environment in their product choicess Our hope was for the children and teachers to not only use the brushes, but to also open a conservation discussion with their friends and family.

 
 
 

 
 

In focus

 
 

Kids for Kids Academy, Miami, Florida.

 

Background story

Art is a powerful medium for inspiring passion and communicating the beauty and diversity of our natural world. Art touches adults and children today as it has for centuries. Underwater photography is especially captivating, as it brings the undersea world up onto dry land. Being surrounded by this imagery on a daily basis, and contemplating the impact of visual art caused us to ask ourselves some questions. Could we influence a group of small children by simply displaying wildlife imagery on a classroom wall? Would the children enjoy viewing the pictures, and would they feel motivated to learn more about life beneath the waves?

next steps

Annie and Tristan have two young children of their own, and are extremely aware of the impact adults have on the children around them. With this in mind, Annie combined her passion for photography with her passion for education, and set out to buy canvases to hang in the science lab of a local school. Annie donated her time and imagery, and in the process of realizing this project, found CanvasFab, a printer willing to bring the images to canvas at their cost to support the cause. This partnership brought seventeen amazing images of underwater wildlife to the main working classroom of the Kids for Kids Academy in Miami, Florida.

“The children's immediate reaction to the imagery was incredible. They were utterly captivated!”

— Annie Guttridge, President, Saving the Blue

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support

Annie and Tristan chose to use their social media platforms to gain interest in the idea, and within a few days had secured the work needed for the project. Within just a few weeks of announcing their vision, Annie was hanging the work on the walls of the school, with the children eager to view the new and exciting additions to their work space. The children absolutely loved the new imagery, and enjoyed being surrounded by sharks, rays, turtles, and more. They asked endless questions about the sea life, and particularly enjoyed talking about the human freedivers pictured.

Be the change

This exciting project came together quickly, but offers long term results. The experience of the children attending daily classes at the lab will be enhanced by the stimulating imagery, and this will continue as new children come and go in the future. This constant progression will see hundreds, if not thousands of students enjoying the wildlife images for many years to come.