Harbour Grace child stars in TV spot
Young Sarah Yetman of Harbour Grace may not wear a crown, but in her neck-of-the-woods she’s without a doubt the Recycling Queen. Now, she’s even star of her very own TV spot.
The journey started for the sixyear-old in August of last year, when The Compass broke the story of her mission to combat littering in her town.
While strolling on a favourite walking trail, Sarah and her father saw something that made her blood boil: an unsightly pile of garbage.
“I was really disgusted, and very mad and angry,” she said at the time.
So she and her parents, Tammy and Walwyn, lugged all the refuse out to the main road, where it was later picked up and carried to the dump.
The story was subsequently picked up by The Telegram in St. John’s and other media, and broadcast near and far, for all and sundry to hear about this socially-conscious child.
During Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 17-23, 2010, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, an agency of the provincial government, launched a campaign to profile waste reduction heroes. The program places in the spotlight deserving individuals “ who are truly leading the way when it comes to reducing waste in the province,” its website states. A different hero is profiled every month.
Charlene Johnson, then minister of environment and conservation, explained the campaign provides “the opportunity to officially thank and recognize these individuals for their outstanding efforts.” Sarah Yetman, who is in Grade 1 at Harbour Grace Primary, was October’s waste reduct ion
Earlier this year, the MMSB took its waste diversion and recycling program a little farther by producing a TV spot featuring Sarah. It was first aired on Jan. 13 during the NTV news.
“My greener future,” she says as the ad starts to roll, “is not to litter.” She then follows with: “I think it’s important to recycle” — she stumbles over this word in a cute, childlike way — “ because it’ll keep the environment clean.”
Sarah’s parents both appear in the ad. “ We’re learning from Sarah to recycle,” Tammy admits, “and so is Nanny,” Georgina Vaters, Tammy’s mother.
Actually, Sarah asked her Nanny why she was throwing pop bottles in the garbage. “Can I take them and have them recycled?”
With that, Sarah gained a fellow recycler.
Sarah talks matter-of-factly about her experience of appearing in a TV ad.
The folks at M5, MMSB’s advertising agency of record, made the trip to Harbour Grace “ because I was cleaning up the environment,” she says.
How did it make her feel? “It made me so excited that my parents and me were going to be on TV,” she answers. “ That night, my legs were actually kicking the chesterfield.” Back at school, her classmates regarded her as a bona fide media star. “I had to give my classmates my autograph because they thought I was so famous,” she says.
But for Sarah, it’s all part of her per
“I would like them not to throw out their garbage,” she says. “Even though you think it’s a garbage dump, it isn’t. It’s where rabbits and all the animals go.”
As for her future plans, she thinks she would enjoy being a sanitary engineer … er, garbage collector. However, her immediate hope is to continue doing her part to help clean up the environment. And to encourage others to follow her example, she says.
Meanwhile, she’s patiently waiting for the weather to get warmer, so she can go back out and tend her very own vegetable garden.
The MMSB has plans of soon adding the TV spot to their revamped website permanently. “ We will be adding it into the rotation for a winter/spring television campaign to run on NTV and CBC in the province,” says Carol Ann Carter, director of marketing, communications and public education.
Harbour Grace mayor Don Coombs, in his appearance on the TV spot, says, “ Without people like (Sarah) coming up through, it won’t be the same as we see it today. She’s doing a great job. A great little leader.”
The MMSB encourages the public to nominate other people who are “going above and beyond to create a greener future.”
• Age — 6 • Hometown — Harbour Grace • Parents — Tammy and Walwyn Yetman • School — Grade 1 at Harbour Grace Primary • Hobbies/interests — cleaning up bedroom, helping Mommy, drawing, paint-by-number, coin collecting The look on Sarah Yetman’s face says it all: disgust whenever and wherever she sees garbage.