District: Seattle Public Schools
Category: Water Quality & Conservation
Date: Mar 13, 2012
We are elementary students at a Beacon Hill Elementary school in Seattle and we recently became a level 2 Washington Green School in the Water category. Our first step was to complete an assessment and audit. Based on the results our Green Team decided to take action and educate our community about where our water goes once it leaves our campus and neighborhood. We hoped this would help people be more conscious about dumping contaminated water down drains.
Students Spread the Word
The first step we took to spread the word about keeping our water clean, was to stencil the storm-drains on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. Then, we created a small flyer with information about our watershed, the Green/ Duwamish River Watershed, and the importance of keeping contaminants out of the drains. Lastly, the fifth grade science class made water books for younger students to help them understand the importance of water quality and conservation.
Refocusing on Waste
After spending a year educating our community about water, we decided to refocus their efforts on our level 1 category, Waste and Recycling. We will try to go deeper into this category and renew our school's efforts to reduce waste production on campus.
By Maple Elementary, Beacon Hill, Seattle
District: La Center School District
Category: Recycling & Waste Reduction
By completing a lunchroom audit at both the high school and the elementary school we learned that both campuses produce a large about of unnecessary waste. We noticed that there was a lot of uneaten food, recyclables were in the wrong bins, and disposable trays were taking up a huge amount of space in the garbage bins.
Students Lead Waste Reduction Effort
The Project Study Class led the way in implementing the following Lasting Changes: First, we started the Save Organic Scraps (SOS) cafeteria composting program at both our HS and assisted at the lower (K-8) campus. Second, we set up a comprehensive program for recycling plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and milk cartons. Third, our newly created monitoring team checks to make sure recyclables and compostables are going in the correct bins. And fourth, we replaced our disposable trays with reusable ones, which decreased in the amount of waste produced in our lunchroom.
Where We Are Headed
After reviewing our efforts we hope to accomplish the following goals in the coming year: 1. Reduce the amount of paper used in classrooms by increasing the paperless approach to instruction 2. Work with the lunchroom food service management to cease use of plastic utensils. 3. Conduct a school-wide media campaign to promote SOS, recycling, as well as educate the members of our HS Campus regarding our experience and findings.
By La Center Green Team
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