A 4-year-old New Brunswick boy’s mission to protect the planet, one garbage bag at a time

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WATCH: This past weekend marked Earth Hour, which encourages people to support nature and the planet. A New Brunswick boy is trying to do that too -- in his own way – by setting a lofty garbage collecting goal and getting others on board. Callum Smith explains. – Mar 29, 2021

A young boy living in northern New Brunswick is taking steps to protect the planet by picking up bags of garbage.

Jill Doucet and her son, Loïck, 4, live in Charlo, N.B. Loïck attends pre-school nearby on the Eel River Bar First Nation.

But Doucet says being a new business owner, she’s had to spend a lot of time in the office as of late.

“Probably like a lot of moms out there, I had the mom guilt that my son had too much electronics during the pandemic,” she says.

“We went to walk on the beach a few times, and I noticed there was some garbage,” Doucet says. “There was a lot of lobster traps, a lot of glass, and we decided to come back the next day with a garbage bag.”

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Preserving the planet was also a topic in Loïck’s pre-school program.

“He explained to me was that Mother Earth was getting old and she needs help, so the way to help her was to help clean her planet by picking up garbage,” Doucet says. “It kind of hit me that, oh my God, at four years old, he has that consciousness of how important it is to help Mother Earth.”

His K4 educator, Priscilla Pictou, says her job is to help prepare students for the kindergarten program in Dalhousie.

But after having to stay indoors for an extended period of time as a result of COVID-19, students were finally able to get outside for activities last week.

“I said because if Mother Earth gets sick, then we all get sick… And that’s where we’re at right now,” Pictou says.

Her students went out that day to collect garbage.

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A grabber and a goal

So Doucet took her son to the local dollar store to get a grabber to help the journey. And Loïck went to work, picking up garbage in the Charlo area and setting a lofty goal: to collect 1,000 bags of garbage.

“I said, ‘Maybe mommy is going to share it on Facebook and maybe some of our friends and family can help us achieve that goal,'” Doucet says. “So that’s what we did and then people started commenting and sharing that they were going to help us.”

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But it’s not just people from the Charlo area; Doucet says there’s been support from the Moncton area and Acadian Peninsula as well. Doucet created a Facebook group so people can post their results.

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And Loïck is making his teacher proud.

“That threw me for a loop because 1,000 bags is an awful lot of bags,” Pictou says. “I thought we had a lot with 18 in our day.”

An ambitious goal by a four-year-old with help of his teacher, his mother and his community, all to help protect the planet.

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