“The goal is to educate young people to become more aware of toxins and take action to reduce health risks of their future children and their own”, says Crighton. He has been a strong advocate in protecting mothers and children’s health. About a year ago, he founded a Prenatal Environmental Health Education Forum (PEHE) with the support of the University of Ottawa.
Crighton began working on the EduTOX project about a year ago. Several uOttawa students have been involved at different stages, including bringing educational resources together, outreach, and website development among other things. A number of Crighton’s colleagues such as Scott Findlay of the Institute of the Environment, Nathalie Chalifour of the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability and key partner Jonathan Rausseo, Campus Sustainability Manager, have all provided various kinds of support including publicizing the initiative.
EduTOX is organized in collaboration with The Sandbox Project partly because of Crighton’s involvement with the organization. He is Co-Chair of the Environment Working Group, which helped immensely in getting the project off the ground. “It provided an easier way to couch the project”, says Crighton. EduTOX caught the attention of several high profile partners given its positive impact on health and the environment. Many saw the need for it. Health Canada is a huge supporter and “was immediately interested in the project upon finding out about it”, says Crighton. Yellow Pages has been amazingly supportive as well and offered in-kind support through legal services surrounding youth engagement to ensure that laws are being followed accordingly. The David Suzuki Foundation donated scholarships, and advice. Other partners were also generous in donating products, services and other resources.
Crighton’s hard-working efforts for a heartfelt cause are paying off with nearly $10, 000 raised in prizes. Even celebrity judges were interested among them Quebec film producer Pierre Evan, winner for Best Motion Picture of the films War Witch and C.R.A.Z.Y. With so much being done, the project is bound to succeed.
The contest closes on March 21st after which six lucky winners will be selected. Those in the top 4 prizes will be invited to Ottawa to receive their awards at the Giant Sandbox Project event which occurs every year on Sparks street.
Article by Aida Stratas. For questions, please contact aida.stratas@uOttawa.ca