School News You Can Use – June, 2015
FINAL ISSUE BEFORE SUMMER BREAK!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- Conference News – Thanks to Everyone!
- CLUB News – Prospect Mountain TOLD Event
- In The News – Summer Food Programs
- EPA & NHDES News – 4th Grade Water Science Winners
- Activity – 4 Great Summertime Activities
- Green Calendar – Have a great summer
Thanks to everyone who sponsored, exhibited and attended our 2015 Conference. We will be posting the pictures and award winners to our Conference Section shortly so check back frequently!
Special thanks to New Hampshire the Beautiful for assisting so many NH students, staff and teachers with registration grants.
Prospect Mountain Hosts TOLD Event
Prospect Mountain hosted a Trash On the Lawn Day on May 12. Students did an audit of typical school cafeteria waste as a prelude to starting a new recycling program in the fall. Here are some pictures:
More from Hampstead Central Garbage Guerillas
Here are some additional pictures from their Earth Day Event:
Would you like to host a TOLD, Garbage Guerillas or another Workshop at your school? Let the CLUB Help!
- 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 goal 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. Click here to learn more or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 19
IN THE NEWS
Pitch a tent to protect wildlife!
National Wildlife Federation is pleased to announce the new GREAT AMERICAN CAMPOUT, a summer-long celebration of camping kicking off Saturday, June 27th.
Take the pledge to camp — in your backyard, your neighborhood, your local parks, state parks, and national parks, cabins, RVs, treehouses… you name it! — and be a part of our nationwide event! You can also join a public campout in your area, or host one yourself.
This year, top NWF supporters have agreed to donate $1 for every person who participates in the Great American Campout — up to $100,000! These donations will support our ongoing efforts to protect the great outdoors for all Americans.
Sign up to join us for this year’s celebration and take a tour of our new website, featuring Wildlife Fan and Great American Nick Offerman, whom you may recognize from his role as Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”.
NWF Photo Contest
Our 45th Annual National Wildlife® Photo Contest is open for entry! The National Wildlife® Photo Contest was first launched over four decades ago, and to this day, still celebrates the power of photography to connect both photographers and viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. As photography evolves, it’s never been easier to capture images of the world around us—and the most compelling nature images can help protect wildlife in profound ways. Use your camera, smartphone, or tablet to document the wild world around you and enter today to help preserve the wildlife we all cherish.
To see the past winners:
To enter by July 1, go to: http://www.nwf.org/PhotoContest/Contest-Entry.aspx
Team Attempting to Build a Smarter Recycling Bin
By Chrissy Kadleck
May 14, 2015
When it comes to recycling, one of the biggest challenges is on-the-go recycling. To accomplish that goal, three colleagues at the University of Georgia have developed a low-powered interactive bin that gives users positive feedback every time they toss a plastic container, aluminum can or glass bottle into the receptacle.
Six low-power LED bulbs light up to flash a smiling face on the WeRecycle interactive bin, which also has a visible counter that increases each time an item is tossed in. Its developers say the bin has been shown to increase recycling activity by 50 percent.
WeRecycle is the brainchild of three colleagues at the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Engineering: Dr. Jenna Jambeck, Dr. Kyle Johnsen and Eliana Mozo-Reyes. The startup recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $47,000 to source environmentally conscious materials and scale manufacturing of the bins by the end of 2015. The campaign ends Sunday.
Designed to target on-the-go recycling, WeRecycle bins can be purchased with a remote transmitter for real-time data collection and they are a good fit for schools, institutions, sporting events and any indoor public areas in need of a recycling boost, says Jambeck.
“We’ve seen recycling rates plateau and we developed this as an intervention or behavioral hack to give people immediate positive feedback by having the recycling bins simply say ‘thank you’ without literally saying ‘thank you’,” she says.
The current WeRecycle bin is the company’s second-generation prototype. It’s been tested in various environments and is now ready to go public.
“This version I really like a lot because we were able to keep the power really low and have it run off batteries,” Jambeck says. “Our goal is not to be the most bells and whistles, not to be a video game. We are trying to increase recycling but we don’t want to waste energy to do that.”
The three founders have been working on the idea of using technology to promote sustainability, resiliency and restoration since 2010. The company has a goal of social good, she says. For example, the company plans to manufacture domestically and responsibly, use lead-free solder and post-consumer recycled materials such as recovered coastal plastic. WeRecycle bins have also been designed with end-of-life in mind and the company will practice extended producer responsibility. Lids will be taken back if people no longer want them or at their end-of-life to be reused, disassembled or recycled. Jambeck says the company also promotes only purchasing the minimal amount of lids to result in the intended positive impact.
As of right now, the bins—which are really lids at the moment—are being built by hand by students in the lab at UGA. The current price is $150 per lid and $100 for the remote transmitter for data collection. Jambeck expects that price to drop significantly once the company is able to scale up manufacturing.
In the meantime, WeRecycle is investigating combining the bin’s positive feedback with rewards, games and contests. The company plans to do research with 3P Partners, a social enterprise and home of PIPs Rewards. PIPs stands for Positive Impact Points and works like frequent flyer miles for doing good.
“What gets us very excited by the WeRecycle bins is the real challenge with recycling has been to increase engagement at the user level so in the street, in the home, in the institution,” says Wendy Gordon, founder and CEO of 3P Partners. “Jenna’s engineering talent has gone towards creating something that engages the user in a very simple way with these flashing lights that senses the recycling event. It really does seem like she’s on to something.”
Gordon says her company looks for partners just like WeRecycle, partners that can verify a positive impact action has been taken and want to incentivize that behavior.
“It’s really a perfect marriage,” she says. “We do think classrooms, schools, maybe even sporting events will be great target audiences. It’s really going to be interesting research project for us.” The two companies hope to secure sponsorship from a foundation or corporation interested in waste reduction and launch a pilot program by this fall.
“We would really like to see more recyclables collected where it’s really necessary and where the infrastructure is needed. There are areas that are looking to use more recycled materials and we’re just not doing a good job of getting it out of the waste stream especially in these situations when people are outside the home,” Jambeck says. “I want these bins to be out there because I believe it could actually make a difference.”
Spread the Word About Summer Meals
Don’t let kids go hungry this summer. Just because school is out doesn’t mean they can’t get the same free or reduced-cost meals they rely on during the school year. In fact, any kid or teen 18 and under can eat for free at designated summer meals sites across the country. But too many families don’t know, or don’t take advantage of the program.
Find summer meals in your community. And use these tools to let people know they’re available.
(CLUB Notes: While the meal locator map is not yet up and running, it will be very soon, so keep checking. In the meantime, your local Community Action, Food Pantry or Church can put you in touch with a local food program.)
From Waste360 Daily Wire
By Cheryl McMullen
Apr 27, 2015
Hospitality Industry, Firm Reduce Waste,
Save Lives With Soap Recycling Program
As hospitality companies strive to increase sustainability and lesson their environmental footprint, hotels across the country and around the world are recycling used soap and other discarded amenities from guest rooms to reduce waste and even save lives.
Through Clean the World, an Orlando, Fla.-based social enterprise, hotels recycle soap and bottled shampoo, conditioners and lotions previously adding to the waste stream. The company, says founder and CEO, Shawn Sheiperl, is remanufacturing used soap and distributing it to impoverished people fighting diseases like pneumonia and cholera in countries in Africa, India and Central America.
Partnering since 2011, Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which owns hotels in the U.S. and Asia, including the Venetian and Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas, recycles with Clean the World as part of its global corporate program, Sands Cares, which works to reduce its global environmental impact. Thus far, Clean the World has collected 166,225 pounds of soap from LVS properties worldwide, says Kristin McLarty LVS director of corporate communication. That’s the equivalent of 886,540 bars of soap to children and families around the globe. LVS also has diverted 49,347 pounds of bottled amenities, that’s 526,368 bottles of lotion, shampoo and conditioner for reuse by Clean the World. McLarty says the company has diverted 108 tons of waste from landfill.
“We like to look at it as kind of a win, win, win,” she says. “The recycle, the reuse and then, of course, making a difference with the planet by keeping that from the landfills. So it’s been a great partnership and it’s been increasing since we’ve been with them.”
Lifecycle of the Soap
Hotel housekeeping collects discarded soap and bottled amenities in Clean the World-provided bins. Staff pre-sorts the items into bins–green for soap, blue for bottles. Next, as bins are nearing full, the recycler sends a prepaid UPS Carbon Free label for shipping to Sysco Guest Supply distribution centers across the U.S. that partner with Clean the World.
At Sysco facilities, bins are weighed and diversion rates calculated, before heading to one of Clean the World’s recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas or Hong Kong. Equipment grinds the soap into a powder; it’s sterilized and remanufactured into a 3-ounce bar of soap stamped with a Clean the World Logo and boxed for distribution by non-profit volunteer groups.
Clean the World keeps full or nearly full bottles for its One Project, where volunteers pack hygiene kits that include the soap and amenities for families in the U.S. who experience house fires, floods or other personal tragedies. The remaining bottles are sent to waste-to-energy facilities in South Florida and Utah.
The process today, Seiperl says, is a long way off from where it began in a single-car Orlando garage in 2008, when they sat on upside-down pickle buckets, scraping the outside of soap bars with potato peelers and grinding soap in meat grinders. They melted it down in four Kenmore cookers he bought from Sears for $59.99. They were regularly priced $79.99, Seiperl says.
They considered selling the repurposed soap, but soon realized preventable diseases were killing 9,000 children a day worldwide. Instead of charging for soap, they would charge for collecting and recycling it.
“Here we were, looking at a dozen studies that said if we gave them soap and taught them how and when to wash their hands that we could cut those deaths in half. At the same time, we figured out we’re tossing a million bars of soap every day and there are some easy ways to recycle it.”
Still Saving Lives and the Planet
Today 4,000 hotels recycle with Clean the World. Since its humble beginnings, the company has distributed 25 million bars of soap to kids and families in 99 countries and while diverting 7 million pounds of waste. This month, Clean the World merged with Global Soap Project in Atlanta. Under the new structure, Clean the World Foundation manages soap and bottle collection and recycling in North America. Clean the World Asia oversees soap recycling in the Asian-Pacific region. Hilton Worldwide was the first major hospitality company to partner with Global Soap back in 2011 and will continue recycling under Clean the World.
As part of its global waste solutions program, RePurpose, 850 Hilton hotels are participating in the soap recycling program, and Hilton Worldwide properties have donated nearly 600,000 pounds of soap, the equivalent of one million new bars. “Our partnership with Clean the World is a testament to the efforts of our hotels around the world to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Maxime Verstraete, vice president of sustainability, Hilton Worldwide, in a press release. “Whether it’s soap or any other product that’s left behind, our guests count on us to manage our waste responsibly and develop solutions that enhance the guest experience,” she said.
Seiperl estimates hotels toss 5 million bars of soap a day worldwide, while 2 million children a year die from preventable diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. The good news is, says Seiperl, it’s working. He says fewer children under the age of five are dying–6,000 per day from 9,000 worldwide. “That’s still one child every 15 seconds. Our goal is to eradicate those deaths,” he says. “I think that’s due to a lot of organizations, no doubt, but that’s absolutely due to 25 million free bars of soap being flooded and all the education that we’ve driven. So all the hospitality industry and those folks who have supported it can feel good that we are making a difference around the world, and we are saving lives.”
NOW Youth Leadership Nominations Due Now!
The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) is seeking nominations for its 2015 Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (NOW) Youth Leadership Award!
Do you know any young leaders (ages 12-18) who are involved and committed to environmental health, participate in community action, and have strong leadership skills? Nominate them for CEHN’s NOW Youth Leadership Award! CEHN is seeking nominations from non-family members for this award which honors youths for their exceptional environmental leadership. This award will be presented at CEHN’s 10th Annual Child Health Advocate Award Reception in Washington, DC in October 2015. Visit http://www.cehn.org/NOWaward to see a list of previous awardees and to fill out the nomination form. We look forward to receiving your nominations, and if you have any questions, please contact Rachel Locke at email@example.com. Nominations are due by 4pm EDT on June 30th, 2015.
EPA & NHDES NEWS
Information for K-12 Schools on Reducing Wasted Food
The Guide for K-12 Schools Food Recovery (2pp, 664K), developed by EPA Region 9’s Pollution Prevention Program, provides a number of resources on reducing food waste.
NH DES 4th Grade Water Science Winners
Concord, NH – The annual New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival and the final round of the annual State 4th Grade Water Science Fair was recently held at Wasserman Park in Merrimack. Students from Merrimack, Keene, Manchester, Marlborough, and Harrisville presented their projects to a panel of judges. Congratulations to Jacob Correa from Manchester who won first place; Nick Dumond from Keene who took second place; Dana Leclair from Manchester who took third place and Abigail Switzer from Marlborough who won fourth place.
The Drinking Water Festival has been held annually around the state since 1992 to celebrate National Drinking Water Week. The goals of the event are to heighten the awareness of water resources, help students recognize water’s relationship to other resources, promote environmental awareness, and the idea that individual actions can make a difference in protecting these resources. The event was sponsored by the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to encourage future leaders and scientists to learn about one of the world’s most precious resources, water!
This year’s event included about 300 third and fourth grade students from the Merrimack and Harrisville school districts. Scientists, consultants, artists and environmental educators from public water systems, non-profit organizations, higher education and local, state and federal agencies joined together to share their expertise with students. Students explored information on water conservation, water testing, groundwater pollution and keeping water clean. A drinking water tasting contest matched several municipal water supply systems against each other for the best tasting water award. Merrimack was chosen by the students and teachers as having the best tasting water.
The water festival is supported by volunteers and donations from many organizations, including:
• Amoskeag Fishways
• Art for Water
• Concord General Services
• Dartmouth Superfund Research Program
• Epping Well and Pump Company
• Granite State Rural Water
• Keene Water Department
• Lake Sunapee Protective Association
• Manchester Water Works
• Merrimack Village District
• N.H. Department of Environmental Services
• N.H. Department of Transportation
• N.H. DHHS Public Health Laboratory
• N.H. Water Well Association
• N.H. Water Works Association
• Natural Resource Conservation Service
• RCAP Solutions, Inc.
• U.S. Forest Service
• Underwood Engineers
For more information about the event, please contact Lara Hooper at (603) 271-4071.
SOAK Up the Rain New Hampshire:
Your Land. Your Water. Your Solution.
March 2015, NHDES
As this bitter cold and snowy winter winds down, even the hardiest of snow shovelers is anticipating the warmth of spring. We’re starting our seeds, tapping our maple trees, and planning all of the ways that we’ll soak up the sun once the mercury rises. In all the excitement and preparation of impending warm weather, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) encourages you to also think about how you might soak up the rain this summer season.
Soak Up the Rain New Hampshire (SOAK NH) is NHDES’ newest outreach and assistance program with the goal of protecting and restoring clean water in the state’s lakes, streams and coastal waters from the negative impacts of stormwater pollution. Among other elements, SOAK NH provides resources for homeowners and small businesses to install rain gardens, rain barrels and other stormwater practices to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution and encourage clean and healthy water.
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground. In forests, meadows or other natural areas, stormwater soaks into the ground and naturally filters through the soil. When forests and meadows are developed, they are replaced with neighborhoods, shopping centers and other areas that introduce impervious surfaces such as roofs, roads, parking lots and driveways. Impervious surfaces prevent rain or melting snow from soaking into the ground. This creates excess stormwater runoff and stormwater pollution.
Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
Over 90 percent of the water pollution problems in New Hampshire are caused by stormwater runoff. We often think of roads, big buildings, and parking lots as being the primary sources of stormwater runoff, but every single property, even our private homes, can contribute to runoff and pollution to nearby lakes and streams. Excess stormwater runoff and the pollutants that it carries can cause many different problems including flooding, erosion and water pollution. This can make the water unhealthy and unsafe for fish and other animals, including humans.
Throughout New Hampshire, neighbors are planting rain gardens, using rain barrels, planting trees, and finding other ways to Soak Up the Rain to protect and restore clean water in their local lakes, streams and estuaries. Since SOAK NH first got started in 2013, the program and its partners have soaked up an estimated 151,000 gallons of runoff and have prevented over 11,000 pounds of sediment, more than 3 pounds of phosphorus, and almost 7 pounds of nitrogen from polluting waterbodies across the state. This is a great accomplishment, but it’s going to take a lot more work to solve the stormwater runoff problem and New Hampshire’s lakes, streams and bays could sure use your help.
How you can help Soak Up the Rain
By installing a Do-It-Yourself stormwater practice such as a rain barrel or rain garden, you’ll be collecting stormwater and encouraging it to soak into the ground. This helps the water on your property behave more like it does in nature. It restores the natural water cycle and can help reduce local flooding, reduce pollutants like pet waste and excess lawn chemicals from washing into nearby lakes and streams, and recharge groundwater aquifers that provide drinking water.
If you think you might be interested in soaking up the rain on your property, consider the following:
1. Look around your property and ask yourself a few questions:
• Is there dirt, sand, sediment or other debris washing down to the road or to a waterbody?
• When it rains, does stormwater runoff leave your property and directly enter a waterbody?
• Does the runoff flow off your land into a stormwater collection system (e.g. storm drain, catch basin, or drainage swale)?
2.If you answer yes to any of the above, consider installing a Do-It-Yourself stormwater practice.
Stormwater practices can be very simple, like a rain barrel that collects water from your roof, or more complex, like a rain garden. Step-by-step instructions for building nine different stormwater practices are described in the New Hampshire Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management available on the NHDES website. If you’d like to learn more, the Soak Up the Rain website at http://soaknh.org/soak-project-steps/ can walk you through your project from start to finish.
3. Share how you are Soaking Up the Rain.
If you decide to install a stormwater practice on your property, we’d love to hear about your experience. Send us an email with the details and photos of your project and we’ll feature it on our SOAK Stories web page. We’ll add it to the SOAK website map and send you a “Soak Up the Rain” tote bag as thanks for your good work.
For More Information
Visit the SOAK NH website at www.soaknh.org to find much more information about how and why to Soak Up the Rain.
To speak to NHDES about this program, contact Jillian McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org and (603) 271-8475.
For those hot summer days . . .
Found this link to Housing a Forest through Crafty Kid Creations on allfreekidscrafts.com:
June 20, 2011
Build Your Own Sprinkler
Our summer has not been super warm yet, but the kiddos don’t seem to mind. They have been splashing in the pool and loving being at the lake. Today they really wanted to run through the sprinkler, but when we pulled it out it was broken. Boo! I have seen some wonderful sprinklers made out of PVC pipe on Pinterest that I would love to make with the kids. However, we needed a quick simple option for today. With a few simple steps, you can Build Your Own Sprinkler too.
• Sturdy Plastic Bottle ~ from our recycling bin
• Tyvek Tape
• Garden Hose that you can tape to.
We attached the garden hose to the bottle with Tyvek tape. I’m sure most any waterproof tape would work. Then the kids drilled a number of holes in the top and sides of the bottle. Depending on how you want your sprinkler to shoot, will depend on where you place the holes. The kids wanted water spurting everywhere so choose to drill holes in all directions.
The kids sprinkler worked great! My favorite part is that we didn’t need to spend money on a new one and the kids had the fun of creating their own. I was surprised at how easy it was and that it only took the kids a few minutes to build.
The kids loved running and playing in it.
And cool down with a Watermelon Shark …
or a fish, or a hedgehog, or a dinosaur . . .
For these and other great watermelon carving ideas, go to: http://www.watermelon.org/Carvings
And for those rainy summer days . . .
Comic Book Picture Frame
By: Amanda Formaro for AllFreeKidsCrafts.com
Need an amazing gift for the superhero fan in your life? Want to create a custom DIY picture frame for your child’s bedroom? This Comic Book Picture Frame will save the day!
With this tutorial, kids can learn how to decoupage and preserve old comic book pages in the most unexpected way. The Comic Book Picture Frame is easier to make than you think, so it’s a great beginner craft for kids. Pick your child’s favorite comic book hero and craft something together that they’ll want to keep forever!
• Comic books
• Wood frame
• Mod Podge or other decoupage medium
• Pen or pencil
3. Position the comic book section onto the frame. Once it’s in place, carefully lift one side and apply some Mod Podge to the center. Work your way from the center outward to help eliminate the possibility of air bubbles under the paper.
5. Allow to dry for 20 minutes.
6. Apply a generous, but not dripping, layer of Mod Podge over the top of the comic book pieces as a sealer. Let dry for at least one hour before adding a photo to the frame.
(CLUB ideas: How about using the Sunday Funnies or your old picture calendars to create your own theme? You could also make your own frame from old wood scraps or pick one up at a yard sale or flea market to reuse.)
And finally, for those warm, clear summer nights . . .
DIY: Constellation Jar
From Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom.com
May 21, 2012
I asked Amy of This Heart of Mine for a project that would be fun for kids or adults. I love that she thought of star-gazing! We’re so far into the countryside, that the stars here are outrageously bright. It’s awesome! — Gabrielle
Link for above: http://www.thisheartofmineblog.com/
Star gazing is one of my favorite things. Ever since learning about them in junior high, I’ve loved looking upwards and pointing out the constellations I could remember and being in awe of their impressive sight. With summer right around the corner, I have hopes of spending a few late nights gazing at them again.
Because of my love of the stars, when my daughter was little, I purchased her a night light that shines stars all over her bedroom walls. After seeing a few light-filled jars on Pinterest, I had an idea to fill a jar with the constellations — and I was able to do it using items I had around the house!
Cut a strip of the cake pan long enough to fit around inside the jar and tall enough to reach to the very top of the jar. Use a spoon to brandish out any writing or crinkled parts.
Use the awl to poke holes for the constellations. Mine are not accurately placed, it is only a small strip of aluminum after all. I included Hercules, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, Draco, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Orion, Cancer and Gemini.
FROM ALL OF US AT THE CLUB,
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY SUMMER!
WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School CLUB always loves to hear what its members and other schools are doing to recycle and help the environment so we can share it through our newsletter. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information about 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! – Gwen Erley, theCLUB@nrra.net 1.603.736.4401 ext 19