School News You Can Use – September, 2015
WELCOME BACK STUDENTS!
It’s going to be a GREAT year!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- CLUB News - Welcome White Birch Early Childhood Center
- In The News – Zoos in the News
- EPA & NHDES News – PEYA Awards
- Activity – Fun Fridge Magnets
- Green Calendar
Welcome New Member White Birch Community Center Early Childhood Center
At the CLUB we believe you can never start too early in educating children and students about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The teachers at the White Birch Community Center Early Childhood Center, in Henniker, NH, are doing just that by implementing their own recycling programs.
Assistant Director of Childcare Programs, Erica Miller, has developed several lesson plans geared for their very young students. She has offered to share these lessons with any other schools who might be interested:
Thanks for sharing, Erica! We would love to hear our readers thoughts and any additional lesson plans they might have for our youngest CLUB members and future environmentalists.
Allenstown Elementary Earth Day Event 2015
Allenstown Elementary in NH sent along pictures of their Earth Day 2015 event to share. They won the Conference Award for Best Earth Day Event this year. Allenstown has also earned enough Team Earth points for a Bronze award and is well on their way to a Silver! They are recycling paper and metals.
2016 Conference Date Set!
SAVE THIS DATE & COME TO THE CASTLE !
May 17, 2016
May 16 and 17, 2016! NRRA announces it 35th Anniversary Emerald Jubilee Conference …..“It’s Not Easy Being GREEN!!” We are moving south from Manchester to Nashua, NH. The Castle is rolling out the emerald carpet for this very special, first in the nation conference and exposition. Stay tuned, as we ramp up even earlier than usual with workshop proposals and exhibit opportunities that cannot be missed. Once we go live for registration I encourage all to sign up early to take advantage of the Early …Early Bird Discounts and the Special Value Package. The line-up for next spring will include Nationally Recognized Experts in this ever changing field and as usual, NRRA will be leading the way with the most up to date and cutting edge information you can use. You won’t want to miss this historic event.
Winnacunnet Winners … Again!
Two Enterprising N.H. Teens Created a
School Composting Program. Here’s How They Did It.
Jun 25, 2015 Chrissy Kadleck
The motivated duo, friends since fourth grade, spent their senior year researching, funding and creating a food waste composting system at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. The program, which targeted cafeteria food waste, not only earned the pair the “Innovative Recycling Idea of the Year” award from the School Recycling Club (the CLUB) of Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), it diverted seven tons of organic material from going to the local landfill in 14 weeks.
“We both wanted to help and make a difference and we’re really happy with how it went,” says Anastasia. The girls’ efforts have also garnered them two additional notable awards including the Eco Maine Sustainability award and the Aquarian Water Environmental Champion award.
After attending an Advanced Studies program at St. Paul’s School in Concord, the girls decided to channel their sustainability knowledge into their senior seminar project. They originally hoped to create a compost pile on their school site but public policy would have made that challenging, if not impossible.
They didn’t want to give up on the idea so they engaged the help of local transfer stations, a composting hauling company and a nearby school, Oyster River High School, which had its own fledgling food waste program.
By collaborating with teachers and staff, and obtaining permission, they wrote a grant and received funding from school supporters. They lined up a vendor and rallied the student body to support the program. In a few short months, their program was up and running.
“There would be good days when the kids would separate all their stuff and there would be horrible days when they wouldn’t separate it well,” says Anastasia. “We had to sit by the trash cans every single day. People started calling us ‘Trash Girls’—not in a mean way.
“It kind of stunk for us because it was senior year and we had to spend every single one of our lunches monitoring the trash cans,” she says. “We knew it was worth it because we were making a difference, but it was challenging.”
If they had to do it over again, the girls says they would first implement the program at the elementary school.
“I feel like kids that age are more open to change and more adaptable,” Anastasia says. “If they start at a young age (third through fifth grade), they are more likely to carry it on as they get to high school. They are old enough to understand but not too old to think they’re too cool to compost.”
Anastasia and Cushing were recognized by the NRRA for their inspiration and motivation, says Mark Richardson, NRRA Trustee and Hampton Transfer Station Manager. Richardson worked closely with the girls and nominated them for the NRRA award.
“I’ve been here since 2000 and for seniors at Winnacunnet High School have come over and asked me all kinds of questions about recycling and then they write a paper as their senior seminar,” Richardson says. “Grace and Caroline were very different.”
He says they persevered at every turn. They met with their science teacher, administrators, cafeteria workers, the school board and even secured $2,200 from the Friends of Winnacunnet Foundation to pay for liners, which cost $1.11 each, and composting services.
“They did all the work and that’s what impressed me,” he says. “Here were two girls who, for the first time, actually did a project for their senior seminar. They were getting ready to graduate and they got this done.”
Both recent graduates intend to pursue sustainability causes. Cushing will attend Tulane University in New Orleans this fall and plans to major in environmental science. Anastasia will attend University of Connecticut and study chemistry with the ultimate goal of working to create more environmentally-friendly food packaging.
Congratulations Moultonborough Academy!
Moultonborough Academy Takes Home Top Honors at the 2015 NH Envirothon Competition
The 2015 competition saw twenty-four high school and three middle school teams vie for this year’s top prize during the daylong festivities held on May 19, 2015 and hosted by New England College in Henniker.
Moultonborough Academy emerged as the overall winner, while a team from Souhegan High School took second place and one from Concord High School earned third place honors.
As the 2015 winners, Moultonborough Academy will now represent New Hampshire at the North American Competition (with a theme of “Urban Forestry”) to be held later this summer (July 27-Aug. 2) at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri (http://www.envirothon.org).
In 1990, a group of New Hampshire professionals from the environmental and natural resource management fields got together and decided to run a program that was designed to challenge students in crafting creative solutions to contemporary environmental issues. In the fall of 1991, the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts assumed sponsorship of the New Hampshire program, based on a model created by the Pennsylvania Conservation Districts in 1979. As a result of that effort, the first New Hampshire Envirothon was held in 1992 at Fox Park in Plymouth. Since that time, it has provided both middle and high school students with exciting, practical challenges outside of the classroom.
One recent ConVal High School senior’s impression of the New Hampshire Envirothon program was expressed, “Envirothon has been my favorite activity in high school and I feel privileged to have been a member of four ConVal teams. I have without a doubt learned more through my experiences on Envirothon than I have in many of my AP [advanced placement] classes.”
Teachers who are interested in coaching a team, professionals interested in volunteering their time, and anyone interested in providing financial support should contact the New Hampshire Envirothon Coordinator by email at nhenvirothon@gmail. com or by U.S. Mail at: New Hampshire Envirothon Coordinator, 1197 Route 12A, Surry, NH, 03431. There’s no better way to build a cadre of youth who are more dedicated to addressing New Hampshire’s environmental and natural resource challenges than to help foster the future success of the Envirothon program. More information can be found on its webpage located at http://nhenvirothon.org.
Team Earth ReVamp & Poster Contest
It’s been a busy summer at the CLUB. We have updated the Team Earth Program Manual and have launched a Team Earth Poster Contest (see below) that will run through April 15, 2016.
DEADLINE: Email a picture of your entry to theCLUB@nrra.net by Friday, April 15, 2016 to be eligible!
Career Exploration Resource Added to Webpage
We have so many talented students in The CLUB that we thought it was time to add a Career Exploration resource for those that are considering environmental science or recycling as their future career goal. If you have any other resources, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!
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 email@example.com or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 19
IN THE NEWS
Recycling Zoo Doo?
Jun 9, 2015 Megan Greenwalt
Capitalizing on the Power of Animal Waste
at North American Zoos
Who doesn’t have fond memories of visiting their local zoo–seeing seeing all of the exotic animals that you wouldn’t normally see in your hometown and getting an up-close glimpse at those you wouldn’t want to encounter in the wild? Getting to view those creatures in habitats made to look like their natural settings gave visitors an idea of all of the sights and, unfortunately, even the smells of the animal’s natural habitats.
Now a couple of zoos in North America want to capitalize on those unpleasant smells by turning animal waste into energy.
The Detroit Zoo in Michigan recently announced a crowdsourcing plan to raise funds to purchase a biogas system to process 400 tons of waste annually into energy. The zoo has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, who will match the $55,000 the zoo needs to raise by June 15.
“This biogas will be used to help power the 18,000-square-foot Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex, saving the zoo $70,000 to $80,000 a year in energy costs,” says Gerry VanAcker, chief operating officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. “The system also will convert manure into compost that will be used to fertilize animal habitats, gardens and public spaces throughout the 125-acre zoo.”
VanAcker says the zoo will work with Integrity Building Group to build the biodigester. Construction will begin this summer and be completed in the fall.
“We worked with Michigan State University (MSU) to design the biodigester to meet the zoo’s needs. MSU’s Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center will work with us in commissioning the project to determine the amount of product we will need to utilize the system to get the best energy output,” he says.
The system will use anaerobic digestion to convert the animal waste into energy. The animal waste will be broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of air. Animal waste–and other organic matter— also known as biomass, will be regularly deposited inside the digester. Naturally occurring micro-organisms will digest the biomass and release a methane-rich gas that can be used to generate renewable heat and power, according to VanAcker.
The Toronto Zoo in Canada also has plans to use animal waste as energy. With more than 5,000 animals on-site, the zoo anticipates it can process about 3,000 tons of animal waste and 14,000 tons of food waste a year from a large Canadian grocery chain, creating 500 kilowatts of generating capacity and about 4 million kilowatts of output.
Working with two engineering companies to design, permit and plan the project, the Toronto Zoo also has partnered with Zooshare Biogas Cooperative Inc. to help raise the $2.2 million (Canadian) needed to build the biogas plant. The group reached its funding goal recently, after seeking funds since 2013.
“We raised approximately half of the funds needed for construction via the sale of community bonds that pay 7 percent annually for seven years,” says Daniel Bida, executive director of Zooshare Biogas Cooperative Inc. “These bonds were purchased by individuals around Ontario who also became members of our cooperative. All together, we have 406 members and 350 investors.”
ZooShare anticipates construction will begin in September 2015 and be completed by May 2016, once all of the permits are approved.
Like in Detroit, the Toronto Zoo’ system will use anaerobic digestion technology to convert the animal and food waste in to biogas, which is then cleaned and combusted to create electricity for the Ontario power grid.
“We are building the biogas plant at the zoo’s current compost facility, so they will continue to collect and dispose of their manure as they always have, except instead of dropping it into piles, they will drop it into a receiving tank,” says Bida. “The food waste will arrive at the site and also be dropped into a receiving tank before it is pumped into a pasteurization tank and then mixed with the manure prior to being pumped into the digestion tank.”
How about Zoo Art?
11 Images from the Philadelphia Zoo
Recycled Art Exhibit
Jun 26, 2015
The Philadelphia Zoo is featuring this summer an exhibit of animals and nature sculptures made from recycled materials. The display, called “Second Nature–Junk Rethunk,” showcases works by various artists to bring attention to the plight of endangered animals.
(CLUB Comment: Ever wonder what to do with your used chewing gum? See below!)
To view all of this amazing artwork and learn how it was made, click Here.
Exerpted from: Sports Teams Build Food Recovery Awareness
Growing numbers of professional sports teams and organizations are capturing edible food in their venues for donation, while continuing to divert food scraps to composting programs.
Marsha W. Johnston
BioCycle June 2015, Vol. 56, No. 5, p. 34
A Farm Grows On Fenway
Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, installed a 5,000 sq. ft. rooftop farm in Spring 2015. Produce is used in restaurants at the ballpark. Photo courtesy of Green City Growers
Green City Growers in Somerville, Massachusetts started out in 2008 installing raised bed gardens for residences in Boston and surrounding communities. It branched out into employee wellness gardens after receiving a request for an installation from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Then we were contacted by b. good, a healthy fast food restaurant company in the Boston area,” recalls Jessie Banhazl, founder of Green City Growers. “The company had three restaurant locations and wanted to install gardens at all of them. Today, b.good has 14 locations and we’ve put in gardens at 12 of them. What started out as a residential focus has evolved to servicing the commercial and institutional sectors, including grocery stores, hospitals, schools, senior centers, camps and more.”
One of its most recent installations is a 5,000 sq ft rooftop organic farm at the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park baseball stadium. Located on the roof of the Front Office on the third base side on the EMC Level, fans can view Fenway Farms from within the park. “Fenway Farms was meant to be,” explains Banhazl. “Linda Henry, who manages the John Henry Foundation [Red Sox owner John Henry’s wife], has always had a very strong focus on youth education and sustainability. There was a large, unused roof top area at Fenway Park, on the same level as the EMC Club, and Linda, along with others in the Red Sox organization, came to the conclusion that having a rooftop farm would be the way to fill it.”
Recover Green Roofs did the installation of the rooftop farm, working with structural engineers to design a system within the structural load constraints of the building while resisting environmental pressures such as wind uplift. Additional design features ensure waterproof protection and drainage. Recover Green Roofs put in a 1,750 sq ft planting area in Spring 2015, using milk crates filled with Vermont Compost Company’s Fort Light Blend that was developed for growers who want a compost-based soil mix with the handling and watering characteristics of a peat-perlite mix. “It is great soil,” exclaims Banhazl. “We have been having incredible production. It’s only the beginning of June and we’ve already harvested over 1,100 lbs this season.” A smart irrigation system minimizes water use. Urban farmers from Green City Growers maintain Fenway Farms, often during Red Sox games. The produce is used in the EMC Club and in a cafeteria for the media and employees. Fenway Park chefs work with Banhazl on what is planted. “Everything we pick, we pick in conjunction with the chefs,” she says.
Compost has always been a staple in the soil media used by Green City Growers. The company typically custom blends an organic soil mix comprised of 25% compost (from Brick Ends Farm in South Hamilton, MA); 25% topsoil; 25% peat and 25% vermiculite. At Fenway Park, Green City Growers is paid a service fee to provide materials, maintenance, harvesting and upkeep of the farm. Banhazl estimates that about 4,000 lbs of produce will be grown in 2015.
“The spring and summer growing season lines up perfectly with the baseball season,” she notes. The spring plant included herbs, various salad greens, snap peas, spinach and carrots. The summer plant includes broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, and a variety of hot and sweet peppers and greens. — Nora Goldstein
But will they walk on water?
We found this article in Waste360, 7/7/15
In reference to an article in AllMediaNY.com | Things to Know
Article Link: http://www.allmediany.com/news/51458-adidas-creates-shoe-made-almost-entirely-out-of-ocean-waste
Adidas Creates Shoe Made Almost Entirely Out of Ocean Waste
5 Jul 2015 09:32 PM EST
-by Yuliya Geikhman, Staff Writer; Image: Adidas’ new shoe with Parley for the Oceans (Image Source: Adidas Press Release)
Between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic ended up in the earth’s oceans in 2010 alone. That’s between 1.5 and 4.5 percent of the total plastic produced in the world, and scientists still have no idea where most of it ends up.
Parley for the Oceans and shoe maker Adidas have joined efforts to raise awareness of this issue.
Adidas unveiled a prototype shoe at the United Nations headquarters this week: a shoe made almost entirely out of recycled plastic from the ocean. The shoe is one of a few new consumer product ideas from Parley for the Oceans and Adidas that will be unveiled later in the year.
The fibers of the shoe are made entirely out of plastic yarn and filaments recycled from the ocean. The plastic for the prototype was obtained by Parley partner Sea Shepherd after a 110 days of tracking an illegal poaching vessel. The vessel used deep-sea gillnets, which are illegal for their harmful and intrusive methods of dragging heavy nets along the bottom of the ocean floor.
Parley for the Oceans member Cyrill Gutsch states that oceans are a “fundamental part of the debate around climate change.” The group’s objective is “to boost public awareness and to inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans. We are extremely proud that Adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool.”
Another member of the group, Eric Liedtke, praises Adidas for being “a leader in sustainability,” and is excited at the potential opportunities that can come from the joint efforts of the company and group.
“This partnership allows us to tap into new areas and create innovative materials and products for our athletes,” says Liedtke. “We invite everyone to join us on this journey to clean up the oceans.”
2015 Recycle-Bowl Competition registration is now open!
Recycling is the easiest and most effective thing that ANYONE can do to protect natural resources, conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions. Recycling also creates jobs and stimulates our economy. And, friendly competition is a proven way to motivate young people toward adopting sustainable behaviors.
Many schools have been slow to embrace recycling. Through Recycle-Bowl, we hope to galvanize recycling in elementary, middle and high schools across America.
Invigorate student participation through a national K-12 recycling competition.
- Establish new recycling programs within schools
- Increase recycling rates in schools that currently recycle
- Provide teacher/student educational opportunities about recycling and waste reduction
For detailed instructions on how to register, click here. Please be sure to register by October 13th. The competition begins October 19th!
America Recycles Day – November 15
America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Every year on November 15 (America Recycles Day) event organizers educate neighbors, friends and colleagues through thousands of events. Keep America Beautiful created guides, tools, templates and tips to make it easy to organize your local school or community event.
To learn more, click here.
Deadline: November 14, 2015, midnight
Please forward this to the artist in your life!!!
ALL AGES. FREE SUBMISSION. $500 PRIZE.
The US Composting Council (USCC) is seeking designs for the annual International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) poster contest, incorporating this year’s theme, Compost—The Soil and Water Connection.
The contest runs September 1 through November 14, 2015 and is open to anyone who wishes to share their artistic interpretation of compost and its ties to soil health. The winning poster will serve as the 2016 International Compost Awareness Week promotion and be distributed to more than 1,000 US Composting Council members, state recycling offices and non- profit organizations nationwide.
The Annual Poster Contest, which is featured in International Compost Awareness Week posters and promotions across North America each year (May 1-7, 2016) is open for entry: Child, Youth and Adult categories.
For more information, visit: Rules & Regulations
Wyland “Water is Life” Mural and Art Challenge
Educational leaders and teachers take part in the 2015 Wyland National ‘Water is Life” Mural and Art Challenge Sept.25 – Nov. 25. Sign up before Aug. 15 to win 1 of 100 free mural canvases for your classroom to participate in a nationwide environmental mural and individual art contest celebrating our ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. This year’s theme will be “Our Coasts and Climate.”
2015 Mural Art Contest:categories include grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. The class in each category whose mural best expresses their understanding of and appreciation for “Our Coast and Climate” will receive a $250 gift card to Michael’s for art supplies and a grand prize signed Wyland artwork (Total ARV. $1,000) Schools may register multiple classes.
Note: To qualify for entry each participating mural must be accompanied by no fewer than 5 individual concept entries into the individual contest.
2015 Individual Art Contest: categories include all grades K-12. The student in each grade category whose artwork best expresses the “Our Coast and Climate” theme will receive a gift certificate for art supplies.
Deadline to submit murals and individual art is Nov. 25, 2015
Official Classroom Mural and Art Challenge Rules
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant Program
Lowe’s will donate up to $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups – at as many as 1,000 different public schools per school year. Click here to see if you are eligible!
Raise up to $5,000 for your school in minutes. It’s almost that easy when you take advantage of Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program. Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) knows how hard you work for your kids and your community and we’re dedicated to helping your parent-teacher group achieve even more for your school. Apply for our Toolbox for Education Grant now and build on your already impressive parent group success with Lowe’s.
Now in its 10th year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program has provided over $42 million to more than 9,600 schools across the country.
Imagine what you could do for your school – Increase parent involvement? Build stronger community spirit? Create a new school tradition? The ideas are endless. Whatever goals and dreams you have for your school, we can help you fulfill them!
For more than 65 years, Lowe’s has supported the communities we call home. At a time when schools and community groups are struggling to support the basic needs of their communities, the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation recognizes the importance of financial support. This year, as a foundation, we are challenging ourselves to seek ways to provide the tools that help our educators and parent groups through today’s challenging times efficiently, while providing the greatest impact, with basic necessities taking priority. Please keep this focus in mind as you apply for a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education® grant in the 2015-2016 academic year. Thank you.
Fall 2015 Cycle
The Fall 2015 cycle is now open. The deadline for submitting applications for this grant cycle is October 16, 2015 11:59pm EST. If 1500 applications are received, Lowe’s reserves the right to close the cycle. If that happens, the ‘Apply Now’ button will no longer appear on the website.
To get started, click on the “How to Apply” link at the top of this page. Fall 2015 cycle applicants will be notified via email as to the status of their grant application in January 2016.
Lowe’s Commitment to the Community: Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program is funded by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, which has supported thousands of grassroots community and school projects in the communities where Lowe’s does business. Learn More.
$$$$$$$$$$ Other School Grant Opportunities $$$$$$$$$$
(Collected from NWF Eco-Schools Newsletter – August, 2015)
Captain Planet Foundation Grants – September 30 Deadline
$500 to $2500, matching funds recommended
Project Learning Tree Grants – September 30 Deadline
Up to $1000
DonorsChoose.org – Can list on site up to 4 months
Helps classrooms and students in need
EcoMaine Grants for School Recycling – Due October 31
For schools in towns served by or affiliated with EcoMaine: applications open now for grants up to $5,000
International Walk to School Day
October 7, 2015
International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate every October.
Walk to School Day 2015 is scheduled for October 7.
To register your school event: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/
The Green Apple Day of Service brings together thousands of students, teachers, parents and community leaders from around the globe to improve our school environments through service projects, education, community events and more.
This year’s Green Apple Day of Service will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.
How was your summer? Check off all of the things you did on your summer bucket list, courtesy of our friends at nwf.org!
EPA & NHDES NEWS
EPA and the White House Honor Student and Teacher Award Winners
EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced the winners of the annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). These awards recognize K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and outstanding student leaders in environmental stewardship.
A total of 27 teachers and 44 students from across the US were honored for their contributions at a White House ceremony. Winning teachers led unique programs such as conserving nearby aquatic ecosystems, building a hydrogen fuel-cell powered Model T car, and developing outdoor laboratories and classrooms. Winning students led service projects to protect the environment and help build a livable, sustainable global community. Read more about the award winners here. http://go.usa.gov/3GuN6
Applications for this year’s PEYA program are due by December 31, 2015. Learn how to apply here. www.epa.gov/peya
Congratulations, again, to all our Region 1 winners:
Students in the Lincoln-Sudbury High School (in Sudbury, Mass.) Environmental Club – Savannah Snell, Michael Bader, Brianna Bisson, Grace Chin, and Clara Cousins – were recognized for their work to bring awareness of climate change to the 1,600 students at their school, and to promote the use of reusable water bottles and recycling.
Teacher Ross McCurdy of Ponaganset High School (in Scituate, R.I.) has been helping students connect with the environment during his 17 years as an environmental educator, teaching science to students in grades 10 through 12. At Ponaganset High School he creates challenging hands-on learning opportunities, encouraging students to apply what they learn in class to solve real-world problems.
Morgan Cuthbert, a teacher at the Frank Harrison Middle School (in Yarmouth, Maine) was awarded an honorable mention.
The ABCs and 123s of School and the Environment
As much as we (or moreso, our kids) would hate to admit it, summer is almost over and it’s time to send the kids back to school again. Back-to-school is can be hard on the environment with the expensive and environmentally “unfriendly” disposable pens and pencils, flimsy cardboard and PVC binders and chemically-infused foam lunch trays, not to mention the idling minivans in the school pick up and drop off lines. Fortunately, back-to-school does not necessarily mean that you must abandon your environmental morals. Here are four tips to get the school year off to a great green start:
1. Think “”(and Maybe Save Green) While Shopping for School Supplies
Before you head to the store, take stock of your child’s school supplies from the previous year. Do they really need a new pack of pens or pencils? Chances are, you could probably find supplies scattered all over the house that your kids could use for the upcoming school year. Another idea for reusing school supplies that also incorporates a little end-of-summer fun is to have your kids invite their friends over to trade last year’s gently-used school supplies.
However, if you are looking to purchase new supplies, do a little consumer research and try to find supplies that are made out of recycled materials. Many companies incorporate recycled content in their pens, pencils and paper products and advertise this on their packaging. The good news is that due to the increasing trend in “green” school supplies, stores and manufacturers are recognizing the growing demand for eco-friendly back-to-school products, making such supplies more available for consumers.
2. B.Y.O.L : Bring Your Own Lunch
Before you send your child to school with lunch money, talk to your school district to see what kind of lunch trays are used. Many schools still use disposable polystyrene foam lunch trays that are damaging to the environment. Foam lunch trays are not able to be recycled using conventional recycling practices and they easily break apart. Once broken, the polystyrene foam pieces can litter water bodies and may be ingested by animals. However, what should really cause alarm is that, according to Harvard University, polystyrene lunch trays are made with the toxic chemicals Styrene and Benzene, both potential neurotoxins and carcinogens. When foam lunch trays come into contact with heat, Styrene can leach into the food and then be consumed.
So, instead of buying school lunches this year, have your child bring their own lunch to school in a reusable lunch box or pouch. Try using reusable plastic food storage containers as an alternative to plastic sandwich bags. In addition, always remember to pack a reusable water bottle. Bringing a reusable water bottle reduces the number of plastic water bottles added to the waste stream while decreasing the amount of petroleum needed to produce the bottles. You will end up saving money too because fortunately, in NH, we have easy access to safe drinking water.
3. Walk, Bike, Carpool or Bus to School
Did you know that if you leave your car at home just two days a week you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by approximately two tons per year? Before school starts, consider sending your kids to and from school on the school bus or even start a carpool. By carpooling, you will reduce the number of times per week that you use your car, which will save money on gas and reduce wear and tear on your car.
4. Encourage Your Kids to be Eco-Advocates
Talk to your kids about being environmentally conscious in the classroom. Ask your kids to talk to their teachers about turning in homework assignments, like essays and reports, electronically rather than printing them out. Many teachers actually prefer grading papers on the computer and some schools are encouraging teachers to grade online. In addition, talk to your kids about joining or even starting an environmental club at school. Taking part in environmental clubs is a great way to make lasting changes in school and in your community. There are even awards listed on the EPA website for students, and school environmental groups, who have gone above and beyond in helping to improve the environment.
EPA Students for the Environment Blog (Ongoing)
Check out EPA’s Students for the Environment blog for K-12 Students, Educators and Parents at: http://www.epa.gov/students/ Students, teachers and staff are welcome to post ideas and to blog about what they know students are doing to help the environment. Please submit an entry of 400 words or less.
More EPA and Government Educational Resources:
We found this poster through the EPA:
It’s not too late! EPA Webinar 9/17 – How to Donate Surplus Food
Changing How We Think About Our Resources for a Better Tomorrow:
How to Donate Surplus Food from K-12 Schools
Join EPA for a free webinar on Thursday, September 17th 2015 at 1:00pm -2:30pm EST / 10:00-11:30 am PST
Every year, Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food. World-wide, 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted. We use 25% of our potable water to grow food that is ultimately lost or wasted. This occurs while 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure.
This U.S. EPA-hosted webinar will show K-12 schools how to improve their bottom line, feed hungry people, and reduce wasted food by learning from schools engaged in surplus food donation from school cafeterias. Also, the USDA will clarify its food donation policy and the legal implications of surplus food donation.
A word to the WasteWise:
Just one of many school success stories:
Dimensions of Learning Academy – Kenosha, WI
The Dimensions of Learning Academy is a Charter School of the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin. The school is promoting waste reduction and the WasteWise program through hands-on learning experiences. As part of the Dimensions Green Initiative, students explored ways they could reduce, reuse, or recycle ten different materials. After learning about hazardous waste, students also elected to send unwanted computers to a nearby reclamation center instead of the local landfill. During community cleanup days, students collected solid waste materials and built Landfill Larry, a life-sized figure that will become a traveling service learning project and help spread the WasteWise message to schools in the Kenosha Unified School District.
To read more WasteWise school success stories, click here.
And from the FRC, more success:
Rock and Wrap It Up! Helps Fight Hunger
Rock and Wrap It Up! (RWU) program is a national anti-poverty think tank that arranges the collection and local donation of leftover food and other basic necessities from rock concerts, sporting events, hotels, corporate meetings, political rallies, and school cafeterias. Among those organizations that have worked with RWU are the New York Giants, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Hyatt Grand Hotel in New York City.
For more FRC success stories, click here.
How about preparing for the coming year with some recycled fridge magnets so you can post your artwork or terrific grades? We found this idea on: http://www.allfreekidscrafts.com/Organizing-Ideas/Recycled-Refrigerator-Storage-Tins
Recycled Refrigerator Storage Tins
By: Cheryl from A Pretty Cool Life
Monday, September 26, 2011
Recycled Refrigerator Storage Tins are great recycled kids crafts from old tins. These cute crafts look great on the fridge and help you get organized. Kids organization crafts are fun to make and easy to put together for quick cleanup.
Materials: Mixed Media/Miscellaneous
Age Group: Preschool & Kindergarten, Elementary School, Pre-Teens, Teens
Time to complete: One hour
Inspired by Martha’s (Stewart) clever idea, I made this quick craft for our refrigerator.
Getting to the flea market or antique shop isn’t as easy as it used to be with three littles, but even our grocery store’s run of the mill spice tins are still pretty charming.
This project couldn’t be any simpler–magnets, glue, pretty tins–lather, rinse, repeat.
CLUB note: Martha suggests magnets glued to the inside for metal containers; magnets glued to the outside if non-metal container is used.
09/26/15 – Green Apple Day of Service – To register, visit http://www.usgbc.org/articles/register-2015-green-apple-day-service.
10/07/15 – Walk/Bike to School Day – To register your school event:
10/09/15 – Students for Zero Waste – 2nd Annual “Students for Zero Waste” Conference, Durham, NH, October 9-10, 2015. For more info: http://www.postlandfill.org/conference/. Note there is a small registration fee to attend this event.
11/05/15 – Y.E.S. Summit - The Vermont Youth Environmental Summit for grades 7-12 will be held at the Barre Civic Center in Barre, Vermont. To learn more and register, link to www.uvm.edu/extension/teenleadership and select “Programs.”
11/15/15 – America Recycles Day – An initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. For ideas, contact www.americarecyclesday.org.
03/22/16 – World Water Day – To plan your event, visit www.unwater.org.
04/22/16 – Earth Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit www.earthday.org.
04/29/16 – Arbor Day - To plan your event, visit www.arborday.org.
06/05/16 – World Environment Day - To plan your event, visit www.unep.org.
06/08/16 – World Oceans Day - To plan your event, visit www.worldoceansday.org.
05/17/16 – NRRA School CLUB Conference – Come join us in celebrating NRRA’s 35th Anniversary! Details coming in future newsletters.
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