Architects in the UK have gone to great lengths to reduce noise pollution in modern school buildings. But in Quebec, a bank is encouraging primaries to adopt a more low-tech solution, using tennis balls.
The National Bank of Canada is collecting thousands of used balls, to be cut in half and stuck to the bottom of chair legs to muffle noise.
Last year, the bank collected 53,000 balls and distributed them to 150 schools. "A lot of schools have told us it works," said Valerie Lamarre, a spokeswoman.
No schools have yet been quoted in the local press lauding the bank's thrifty scheme, which was launched to tie in with its sponsorship of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal and Toronto last month.
Will this phenomenon take off here, one wonders? Indeed, will schools in south-west London be inundated with balls next year after Wimbledon? Who knows.