Austin’s bag ban has only been in effect for two months, but already students at Hill Elementary School have capitalized on a way to help the city’s cause—and the environment—while also raising money for an annual fundraiser at the school.
Each year, Hill ES fifth graders must come together, brainstorm ideas and raise money in order to throw an end-of-year party at the campus.
So this year, as Austin’s bag ban was going into effect on March 1, students at the campus were assigned to write analytical essays on why community members should use reusable bags instead of plastic bags. Through the project, the students had an idea to design, market, advertise and sell reusable bags as part of their fundraiser for the end-of-year party.
Just like any startup trying to get a good idea off the ground would have to do, the students had to prepare their products—in this case, two designs for the bags—and deliver a pitch to a potential investor: the Hill ES Parent Teacher Association.
“They made an impressive case and were really passionate about the idea, the cause and how it could help not just their fundraising goal, but the entire campus and community,” Choni Hajibashi, president of the school’s PTA, said.
The students got the green-light from their campus and PTA, and since mid-March have now sold almost 1,400 bags. The royal blue bags are 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide, and sell for $5 each.
The students designed two bags. One, known as the Hill Bag, features the school’s armadillo mascot and the student-created tagline, “Doing our dillo best to help save the environment.” The second bag design is meant to be more general and features the Austin skyline, the recycling symbol and a call to “Keep Austin Green.”
There are a limited number of Austin Bags still available for purchase.
“I’m so proud of our students for coming together on this important cause and working together as a team to meet their goal. Whether they realized it or not, they learned valuable real-life skills on what it’s like pitch an idea and see it come to fruition with hard work,” Principal Beth Ellis said.
To order a bag, please contact Choni Hajibashi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hill Bag was designed by Eli Wall; slogan created by Michaela Beadle. The Austin bag was designed by Alexander Christou.