School News You Can Use – Feb. 2014
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- Compost Bin Sale – Can be used as a Fundraiser! Register now to receive orders in time for Earth Day
- Now Accepting Nominations for School Awards
- EPA Merit Awards
- Great American Can Roundup
- Climate Change Video Challenge
- Coca-Cola & Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program
- Planet Earth
- Melting Ice Cap Video
- Disappearing Polar Bear’s Video
- Disappearing Penguin Video
SCHOOL CLUB NEWS
NRRA Annual Compost Bin Sale – Order Now!
DID YOU KNOW?
- In 2012, 27.6% of waste sent to landfills consisted of food and yard waste, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The use of backyard composting systems by residents can divert this waste and help residents benefit from fresh compost.
- It is also possible to conserve municipal water supplies and cut household water bills by up to 40% with backyard rain barrels. Rain water, free from chlorine and water treatment chemicals, is an excellent water source for lawns, plants and gardens.
Now is the time to do your part to help the environment. Participating in NRRA’s annual compost bin sale is a great way to do this! You can either do a straight sale or use this as a fundraiser for your group or organization.
It’s quick and easy. Just go to
- Download your participation packet and send us your participation form. Upon receipt, NRRA will send you a customized order form and poster that you can use to promote your sale.
- Collect orders until March 14th, 2014. Download group order form from the website and send to NRRA no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 14th.
- Orders will be shipped directly to your group between April 1st and April 11th – in plenty of time to distribute for Earth Day!
Be sure to read the overview of the sale on the website for minimum order requirements, delivery and other important details about the sale.
Now Accepting Nominations for the Annual School Recycling Awards
Does your School have an individual, program or an event that deserves recognition for outstanding work in recycling? Click here and fill out the nomination form telling us all about it! NRRA and the NRRA School CLUB will be giving out awards in each category listed below at our 5th Annual School Recycling Conference/33rd Annual Conference & Expo on June 10th, 2014 at the Center of NH/Radisson in Manchester, NH. For more information about the conference go to http://www.schoolrecycling.net/conference/
- School Recycler of the Year
- Rookie Recycler of the Year
- Best Composter
- Most Profitable Recycling Program
- Outstanding Recycling Fundraiser
- 2013-14 Student Recycler of the Year
- Outstanding Recycling Innovation in a School
- Outstanding Community Involvement
- Facilities Staff Recycler of the Year
- Teacher Recycler of the Year
- Cafeteria Staff Recycler of the Year
- Best Earth Day/Recycling 2013-14 Event
What CLUB programming can do for your school!
- Improves academic performance, especially in science and math
- Can lead to financial savings for schools
- Decreases the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
- Reduces school waste and conserves natural resources
- Encourages student environmental awareness and stewardship
- Increases parental involvement
- Helps students and teachers develop stronger relationships with their communities
Previous EPA EE-funded research at over 200 New England schools completed by the NRRA School Recycling CLUB (the CLUB) found that the single most challenging area for school recycling programs was in providing curriculum integrations that brought recycling and sustainability into classrooms to be used as the subject matter for meeting state and local curriculum standards. The intention of the CLUB programs is to address just that issue in schools across all six New England states.
Our hope is to use the CLUB’s workshops and technical assistance programs, all experiential and hands on, as a tool for educating K-12 students about consumption, proper diversion of waste, the resulting impacts on climate change and what they can do to change it. Through these offerings, we are also afforded the opportunity to link these priorities to curriculum standards. In addition, these workshops will model, for educators or community leaders, exemplary ways of teaching in creative, effective, and efficient methods about human health threats from environmental pollution as well as how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health.
WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO?
The NRRA School CLUB always loves to hear what its members are doing to recycle and help the environment so we can share it with our other members. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information and what is working in your school. It can be a new program, a long-term project that’s been proven over time, a field trip, etc. Always feel free to contact me or submit something and you may see it in the next School News You Can Use!
1.603.736.4401 ext 17
Nominations for EPA New England’s Annual Environmental Merit Awards – Deadline is Feb. 21, 2014
Release Date: 02/03/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 3, 2014) – EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Environmental Merit Awards, which will recognize environmental achievements during the past year. Award categories are available for individuals, businesses, state and local governments, and other organizations. Awards are also given under a lifetime achievement category.
These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, business representatives, public officials and other individuals committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the following criteria: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques. Awards are traditionally given in four categories: individual; business, industry, trade, and professional organization; local, state or federal government; and environmental, community or non-profit organization.
This year we are introducing a new award, in addition to the four award categories that have existed for many years. Along with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), and in coordination with the New England state Environmental Commissioners, EPA has initiated the Ira Leighton “In Service to States” Environmental Merit Award. The new award is a tribute to Ira Leighton, who passed away in 2013 after serving 41 years at EPA. The “Ira Leighton in Service to States Annual Award” will recognize an individual or organization that has made significant strides in facilitating state and federal partnerships through innovative sustainable solutions addressing critical environmental challenges in New England. The successful candidate will have actively demonstrated conviction and leadership in protecting the environment and in promoting sustainable practices.
The deadline for nominations is Feb. 21. Awards winners will be invited to a ceremony this spring in Boston.
Nominations are only accepted online. More information on Award categories, evaluation criteria and how to submit nominations is available at:
Great American Can Roundup
Happy Valentine’s Day! Al thought this might be the ticket to turning up the recycling volume and enthusiasm. Don’t forget to send in your receipts or completed GACR School Challenge Log Sheet/Verification Form by the 22 of each month through April for a random drawing that month to win a $50 AMX pizza party gift card. Congratulations to: December’s winner — Midway Middle School, Midway Georgia; and Central Lutheran School, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Your school could be the next pizza party winner.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Al the Can
The National Environmental Education Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are partnering to bring you this climate change student video contest. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a video that is 30-120 seconds long (so 2 minutes maximum) and that answers these two questions:
- Why do you care about climate change?
- How are you reducing carbon pollution or preparing for the impacts of climate change?
Your video should describe how climate change affects you, your family, friends, and community, now or in the future. Be cool! Be creative! Use storytelling or images or shadow puppets or anything that explains the steps you’re taking, or could take, to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for a changing climate. Feel free to recruit your friends and make it a group project (one prize will be awarded for each winning entry).
- The first 100 students who enter will receive a subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine
- 1st Place: Solar Charging Backpack…and Your Video featured on EPA’s website for all to see!
- 2nd Place: Pulse Jump Rope (generates energy to charge your phone)
- 3rd Place: Soccket Soccer Ball (turns kinetic energy from play into electrical energy that can be used to power small devices)
Note about class prizes: Winning videos submitted as part of a school project will also receive special recognition by EPA and NEEF and a plaque for their school.
Solar Charging Backpack
Pulse Jump Rope
Soccket Soccer Ball
*Prizes selected and purchased by the National Environmental Education Foundation.
Who can enter?: The contest is open to U.S. residents who are ages 11 to 14 on or before January 10, 2014. Videos must be created and produced by individuals who meet these criteria.
Important: In order to enter your video in the contest, we’ll need your parent or guardian to fill out an application form and submit a parental consent form (PDF) and your video online (see the next section to learn how).
How do I get started?
Be sure to review this handy “Getting Started” tip sheet (PDF) for ideas to get you started. It includes key facts, important definitions, questions for exploration, and links to great resources.
Also check out our list of video-making suggestions (PDF) that every award-winning director should know.
How do I enter?
- Read the “Getting Started” tip sheet (PDF), do some additional research using the resources listed in it, and then create a video that is 30-120 seconds long and answers the two questions above. Also see our helpful video-making suggestions (PDF).
- Ask your parent or guardian to read all the information on this Web page carefully to be sure you’re eligible to enter and that your video and music are within our guidelines (see our Contest Technical Guidelines). For teachers, please see below.
- Finally, when you’re ready, have your parent or guardian submit your application form and upload your video. The previous link will take you to the website of our project partner, the National Environmental Education Foundation, who will collect the entries for judging. Once we have the form and video, your parent or guardian will be notified via email that your entry was received.
- Have your middle-school class read the “Getting Started” tip sheet (PDF), do some additional research using the resources listed in it, and then create a video that is 30-120 seconds long and answers the two questions above. Also see our helpful video-making suggestions (PDF).
- Make sure the final video meets all the Contest Technical Guidelines.
When is the deadline?
The deadline for submitting entries is March 10, 2014 at 3:00 PM (ET). Winners will be announced to the public on this website on or around April 22, 2014. Winners will be notified via email.
The Coca-Cola Foundation and Keep America Beautiful are pleased to announce that applications are being accepted online though March 3, 2014 for the 2014 Coca-Cola/KAB Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program.
The Coca-Cola/ KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is designed to expand and support recycling opportunities in communities across America. This grant provides durable recycling bins to government agencies, civic organizations, schools, and nonprofit groups.
For more information on the 2014 bin grant program, visit www.bingrant.org.
PLANET EARTH – Frozen Planet
Vanishing Ice Cap
Military submarines have been measuring the Arctic ice cap since the beginning of the Cold War. What they’ve discovered is startling. According to their measurements, the thickness of the ice cap has diminished by half since 1980.
In winter, polar bears hunt for ring seals, which hide beneath the sea ice near breathing holes. Long summers with no ice are likely the main reason why many polar bear populations are dropping.
Adelie penguins live their whole lives near ice. Warming temperatures have meant less sea ice, and Adelie penguin numbers are in decline at their traditional colonies.