The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – April, 2017

Mark Your Calendar for April 22!



  • CLUB Conference News – CLUB Conference Complete Schedule
  • CLUB News – Welcome New CLUB Members
  • Grant & SWIP News – Introducing 3R’s of the Common Core and Teaching Toxics Resources
  • In The News – Colorado MS Fights for Compost; Earth Month Ideas
  • Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers – Compost Scholarships
  • EPA & NHDES News – Wild NH Day, April 29
  • Activity – How to Make a Plarn Basket; Bottlecap Floor


Click HERE to view PDF



Great Reasons to Attend the School CLUB Conference This Year:




NRRA Conference Brochure Available – Click HERE

We have lined up our speakers and workshops for the School CLUB Conference on May 23!  Prepare to be amazed! From composting to student leadership to planning your Earth Day celebration – we have something for everyone!

Of course we’ll have activities, exhibits, games and our Mini-TOLD to round out a full day of activities!

GRANTS FOR NH SCHOOLS:  To help with the registration fee, NH schools may apply for Conference Registration Grants throughNHtB Logo Green NH the Beautiful!



Ready to register? 

Schools may register their group on one Registration Page.  However, please attach a separate list including all the printed names and designations (teacher, student, principal, etc.) for the Conference Badges.

Click HERE to download the School Conference Registration Page!






Welcome New & Renewing Members:


Maple Wood Elementary School

Maple Wood School

Located in:  Somersworth, NH

City founded in:  1729

Grades:  K-5

School Population:  about 312Maple Wood Mascot








The Monarch School of New England

Located in:  Rochester, NHMonarch School Logo

School founded in:  1974

Grades:  K-12 for Students with Special Needs

School Population:  about 50


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Planning your Earth Day Event? Do We have a RecycleMobile for You!?!


The RecycleMobile is a unique, mobile recycling trailer created to assist “special event” organizers with collecting recyclables. The RecycleMobile consists of a fiberglass “box” with six collection holes (three per side).  The “box” is attached to a 4′ x 6′ trailer and houses six 32 gallon barrels. Collection signs are attached by two pieces of VelcroTM above the holes and can be changed depending on which materials are being collected!

The RecycleMobile is not only practical, but easy to use, eye catching and educational!  Consider using the RecycleMobile at:

  • Home Comings
  • Sporting Events
  • Fall Harvest Days
  • School/Park Clean Ups
  • Street Festivals/Fairs
  • Earth Day Events

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA and New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc. The RecycleMobiles are available for loan to NH municipalities, Schools and community groups for FREE!!!

Visit or call us at 1-800-223-0150 for more information.

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On the Road with Sarah McGraw:


The CLUB has been keeping Sarah busy reaching out to past member schools and potential new schools.  She is providing Star Assessments free of charge to give schools a baseline on their recycling efforts. She is also encouraging schools to attend the School Recycling Conference on May 23!

Here are some pictures we have from her travels:



Lion’s Club, Lancaster, NH

From the Lion’s Club Newsletter (pg. 28):

LANCASTER, NH – Club member Tim Phillips recently met with Sarah McGraw, School Program Special Project Manager at Northeast Resource Recovery Association, to discuss our club’s team efforts in working with the local high school in recycling (Lion’s Club courtesy photo).






Shapleigh Middle School

Shapleigh Middle School


KITTERY, ME – Here’s some bottle cap art from Sarah’s tour of Shapleigh Middle School in Kittery, ME.





If you would like to schedule a Star Assessment with Sarah, you can contact her at or 603-736-4401, Ext. 17.




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Keene School District Outreach – Travels with Jake!


We are pleased to report that CLUB Educator, Jake Pipp, has completed his visits to all seven Keene School District public schools.


Jake is providing Star Assessments in preparation for workshops and technical assistance trainings to assist the schools in their recycling efforts.


Jake wants to thank Ken Dooley, Director of Buildings & Grounds for the Keene School District, and Marc Trubiano, Custodial Supervisor for the Keene School District, for assisting with school visits and answering questions about waste management.




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NRRA Member In The News


Brian Bartram, Manager of the Salisbury Salem Transfer Station (Salisbury, CT) and NRRA Member, was recently featured in The Lakeview Journal.  The article offered lots of tips and tricks for recycling.


Click HERE to view the article.





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Many, Many, Many 3-Ring Binders Available

NRRA Member Steve from the North Hampton Transfer popped in and said he had cases and cases of gently used 3-ring binders that need a good home.

If your school could use some of them, contact Gwen at The CLUB.






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“Honest” School Still Needed . . .


Milford Middle School Seeks Honest Kids Pouch Brigade

We received the following request from our friends at Milford Middle School in NH:

They have been collecting Capri Sun drink pouches for years through the drink pouchesTerracycle brigade.  Unfortunately, that program was discontinued on 12/31/16.

Honest Kids has a pouch brigade but there is a waiting list.  Are there any schools in the New England area that are already signed up with the Honest Kids program that would be willing to take Milford’s collection until they can get on the Honest Kids program?

Please contact if you can help!!

Many thanks for helping out and keeping their pouch recycling program going!






Introducing our New Curricula . . .






















Classic K-12 Recycling Activities with 21st Century Standards

NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB is pleased to announce that the newest editions of their school curricula 3R’s of the Common Core: A Teacher’s Resource Guide to Solid Waste and Recycling and Teaching Toxics: Creating Solutions to Household Pollution are ready for distribution! The former Association of Vermont Recyclers (AVR), a leader in Vermont recycling education programs, originally created these publications 25 years ago. In 2012, The CLUB assumed ownership of AVR’s school resources and materials. Last year, NRRA received funding from a USDA Rural Development grant program to update this outstanding curriculum.  It now aligns with the national common core standards and is non-state specific. The intent was to correlate the standards to the lesson plans as originally written. This proved to be an incorrect assumption. Most of the lessons were revised and the Information and Resources sections upgraded, but the authors upheld the original concepts and objectives.

Everyone who participated in the teacher trainings held during the production of the new editions have received their training packets (CLUB classroom workshop modules including TT and the 3R’s). We thank you for your patience and participation in helping us develop NRRA’s Train the Teachers program. Anyone else interested in this program and receiving Teaching Toxics: Creating Solutions to Household Pollution and the 3R’s of the Common Core: A Teacher’s Resource Guide to Solid Waste and Recycling, please contact NRRA Programs Coordinator, Gwen Erley, at


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Rutland County SWAC SWIP Outreach Completed

Free Star Assessments for Schools


Vermont – NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB has completed our school outreach efforts for the 2016-2017 School year on behalf of the Rutland County Solid Waste Alliance Communities (RCSWAC). We met with six Rutland County schools on March 1 & 2. Our goal is to assist with Act 148, Universal Recycling compliance.

RCSWAC Member towns include:  Benson, Chittendon, Fair Haven, Middletown Springs, Pawlet, Rutland Town, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Tinmouth and West Haven.

Outreach will resume in the fall for the 2017-2018 school year.  School outreach consists of an NRRA Star Assessment and ANR School Recycling Scorecard.  There is no cost to the schools thanks to  RCSWAC  funding.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at


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White River Alliance Solid Waste District SWIP Work Continues

Free School Workshops and Technical Assistance


Vermont – We continue to provide workshops to schools in the White River Alliance Solid Waste District in Eastern/Central, VT.

Alliance communities include:  Barnard, Bethel, Granville, Hancock, Pittsfield, Rochester, Royalton and Stockbridge.

School outreach consists of four workshops and two technical assistance trainings. These are being paid for by the Alliance so there is no cost to the schools.

For more information, please contact The CLUB at


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NRRA CLUB applergclipped

Would you like to host a T.O.L.D., Garbage Guerrillas 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
Milford Told-EC-Set up pic

The CLUB set-up for T.O.L.D. event (Trash On the Lawn Day)

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 or call 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 19.




Great Ideas for Earth Month


From our Friends at NWF Eco-Schools




    1. BREAK GROUND OR CERTIFY YOUR SCHOOLYARD HABITAT! Create or certify your outdoor living laboratory. These habitats provide many benefits from connecting students to the natural world to reducing maintenance and upkeep cost and increasing student content knowledge, academic engagement and motivation to learn. Learn more about creating your own Schoolyard Habitat. Certify your habitat today!
    2. CONDUCT AN ECO-SCHOOLS AUDIT! What a fun way to end the year. Conduct a post-audit for any one of the ten pathways your Eco-Action Team has addressed during the 2016-2017 school year. We’re sure the results will show you’ve made significant progress toward your sustainability goals!
    3. CELEBRATE YOUR ECO-SCHOOLS WORK! Nothing brings a community together like celebrating the achievements of its young people! Whether or not you have applied for an Eco-Schools award, celebrate all that has been accomplished to raise awareness and make a difference at school, at home and in the community!
    4. GO BIRDING AND GARDEN FOR BIRDS: Learn about the importance of gardens for birds along with critical habitat needs. Then grab some binoculars and National Wildlife Federation’s Bird Identifier to locate the diversity of birds in your schoolyard. Once back in the classroom make a model or art from recycled materials of a bird observed while outside.
    5. Provide Earth Day facts during the morning announcements
    6. March for Science
    7. Litter clean-up on the school grounds, local park, waterway or neighborhood
    8. Read and write about wildlife and habitat



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Outreach Specialist, Sarah McGraw, found this link to a great Earth Day project:


She searched the site and found out that Lancaster Elementary has been participating for 10 years!

Thanks Sarah!



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From our Friends at NWF

Butterfly Heroes 2017


Butterfly Hero picButterfly Heroes 2017 is coming and we want your school to be the first to know!

The monarchs still need our help! As part of our Garden for Wildlife program, Butterfly Heroes seeks to bring awareness to their declining population and by taking the pledge, your school can help create new habitats for monarch butterflies.

Supplies are limited so be the first to take the pledge on March 27th to order kits for your class. Garden Starter kits include native milkweed seeds, gardening tips, Ranger Rick Nature Notebook and directions to grow or expand your habitat garden! In the meantime, prepare your curriculum, school projects and students for creating your butterfly habitat garden.

Click HERE to learn about Butterfly Heroes



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From our Friends at the Compost Foundation  compost-council-logo


Mark your calendars for

International Compost Awareness Week

May 7 – 13


Get Lots of Ideas for Your Event(s)


On the compostfoundation site, you’ll find a whole section on ICAW.  Read Compost Manualthrough the “How to Celebrate ICAW” manual for a list of things you can do.  Then go to the get involved page and enter the event(s) you have planned or see what other people are doing across the country event page.


Share your ideas and photos to help encourage lots of people to participate this year.  Send photos to





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From our Friends at Resource Recycling News


Keep America Beautiful Launches 2017 Great American Cleanup; Encourages Family, Friends and Neighbors to #cleanYOURblock


Millions of Volunteers Take Action to Clean, Restore and Renew America During Nation’s Largest Community Improvement Program


News provided by

Keep America Beautiful KAB logo

Mar 20, 2017, 09:15 ET

STAMFORD, Conn., March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, today announced the official launch of the 2017 Great American Cleanup. Entering its 19th year, Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program with an estimated 50,000 events occurring from spring through fall in more than 20,000 communities across the country. Find a local Keep America Beautiful Affiliate at

The Great American Cleanup engages more than 5 million volunteers and participants who take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting environmental, economic and social impact. Nationally, the Great American Cleanup annually delivers more than $175 million in measurable economic benefits to communities.

Click HERE for the entire article.



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From our Friends at Waste360

Colorado Middle School Aims to Save its Composting Program

By Mallory Szczepanski

Colorado MSKinard Core Knowledge Middle School in Fort Collins, Colo., takes waste reduction seriously. So much so, in fact, that it has an impressive composting program and a year-long class elective dedicated to environmental awareness, sustainable living practices and service-learning. But although the class and composting program have made great strides, Kinard’s school district, Poudre School District, has been forced to cancel the school’s composting program due to the fact that the utility cost of composting increased because the program’s partner GSI Waste was losing money from transportation costs.



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From our friends at NH Audubon



Registration Opens Today: Summer Day Camp (April)


  • April 24-28
  • For children ages 6-12
  • 9am-4pm, extended care available
  • McLane and Massabesic Centers


April Vacation Camp explores nature in spring. Join us for a single day, several days, or the whole week. Each day will include outdoor excursions and hiking, games, crafts, stories, live animals, songs, and conservation projects to help participants discover the wonders of the season. Children should bring their own lunches and snacks and be prepared to be outside with appropriate clothing.


[Registration link and full details]

Registration Opens Today: Summer Day Camp (June-August)


  • June 26-August 18
  • For children ages 4-12
  • Leaders in Training ages 13-15
  • 9am-4pm, extended care available
  • McLane and Massabesic Centers


Summer Camp is a long standing tradition at NH Audubon and is held at both the McLane Center in Concord and Massabesic Center in Auburn. Camp programs are available to children ranging in age from 4-12 years old. Older participants (ages 13-15) have the opportunity to participate through our Leaders in Training program.


[Registration link and full details]

To see all of the great offerings at NH Audubon, click HERE:



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From our friends at Waste Advantage Magazine


SWANA Offers Free Student Membership in 2017


The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is pleased to announce that it now offers free membership for full-time undergraduate and graduate college students as a means to grow the future of the solid waste and recycling industry. Beginning in 2017, eligible students now have a no-cost opportunity to engage with a network of more than 8,500 professionals to learn more about the solid waste and recycling industry, to interact with potential employers, and to connect with peers who have similar study and career interests. “By providing college students free membership in SWANA, they will have a transparent view of the industry they are studying and may, one day, pursue a career in,” stated Darryl Walter, SWANA’s Director of Membership.”

Read full story

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From our Friends at Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission

Healthy Schools Workshops 2017


For more information on how to make your own, non-toxic cleaners, click HERE.


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Interested in green cleaning?  If you would like to host a workshop in your school, please consider The CLUB’s Healthy Home, Clean Waters Workshop or our Technical Assistance Training for facilities staff on Green Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality Evaluation & Review. 



Contests, Scholarships & Fundraisers


From our Friends at NH Audubon

Action Grant Awards Connect Students to Nature


Namaste Children's Garden pic

Namaste Children’s Garden at Namaste Montessori School in Goffstown

The New Hampshire Partnership for Schoolyard Action Grants, a collaboration that supports schools wishing to link the school curriculum and their students with the local environment, is pleased to award over $6,000 in action grants to the following schools:

  • Beech Hill School, Hopkinton, NH—Building Bowers, Buffers, and Biodiversity
  • Loudon Elementary, Loudon, NH—Pollinator Garden
  • Westmoreland High School, Westmoreland, NH—Nature Trail and Outdoor Classroom
  • Winchester High School, Winchester, NH—Nature Trail Project
  • Seacoast Charter School, Dover, NH—Schoolyard Mater Plan
  • Prospect Mountain High School, Alton, NH—Shade Tree Habitat
  • Jaffrey Grade School, Jaffrey, NH—Schoolyard Bird Watching
  • Namaste Montessori School, Goffstown, NH—Namaste Children’s Garden

These eight schools were selected from over twenty-six applicants and represent a diversity of projects from wetland buffers to trail development to pollinator gardens…


[Link to the full article…]

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2016 RecycleBowl Winners


We received this email from Larry Kaufman, Communicatons Director at Keep America Beautiful:


Hello KAB State Leaders and State Recycling Organization Leaders,

On behalf of Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful, I’m writing to let you know that we have tallied the Recycle-Bowl winners for the 2016 competition! This year we had 1,291 schools participate, reaching over 700K students/staff. Through the Recycle-Bowl four-week competition, these schools recycled 2.2 million pounds!

The 2016 national winners are:

  • School Division: Bon Air Elementary School (Kokomo, IN)
  • Community Division: Keres Children’s Learning Center (Cochiti Pueblo, NM)
  • District Division: New Haven Unified School District (Union City, CA)
  • Waste Reduction Champion: George W. Whitlow Elementary School (Cumming, GA)
  • Food Scrap Collection Champion: Pahoa High and Intermediate (Pahoa, HI)
  • Most Improved: The Children’s School (Rock Hill, SC)





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For those with family or friends in college, or heading there . . .


From our Friends at the Compost Foundation


Young Investigator Scholarship 


Now Accepting Applications???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Deadline: June 30, 2017


The CCREF Young Investigator Scholarship focuses on supporting undergraduate through PhD students, from a college or university in the United States, conducting research and education in the fields of composting and compost use. More specifically, the ideal candidate will have interest in improving the compost process and the application and the utilization of finished compost to increase drought tolerance, soil nutrient content, reducing erosion and water pollution, and increasing carbon storage in soils to combat climate change.

The goal of the Young Investigator Scholarship is to bring assistance and attention to emerging young professionals in the field of compost research and to spark interest in the future of the composting industry.


  • Downloadable Application here
  • Project Abstract
  • Recommendation from a professor or supervisor
  • Email your submission to:

Questions about the application, contact Beth Simone,, 301-897-2715


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Great American Can  Roundup Update

(Nov. 15 to April 22)


Dear Great American Can Roundup School Recycling Champions,

As the Great American Can Roundup School Challenge celebrates its 7th year, Al the Can Official Logothe Can Manufacturers Institute looks forward to recognizing the top recycling per capita schools in each state and the District of Columbia with cash awards.  This is a CANtastic way to show your true green spirit.

Register today at, if you have not already. Raise money for your school/activities, score for the planet and recycle your way to the GACR leader board. It is easy, fun and there is time. The School Challenge runs from America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) to Earth Day (April 22) for collecting aluminum cans. Take your cans to the recycling center and upload your receipts by April 28, 2017. Winners will be announced in May.


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paradigm-challenge-logoThe Paradigm Challenge was created by Project Paradigm, a private foundation, in collaboration with American Red Cross

$100,000 Challenge

What is the Paradigm Challenge?

The Paradigm Challenge is an annual competition that inspires youth to use STEM skills plus kindness, creativity, and collaboration to make a difference. The 2016-17 Challenge aims to generate new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and around the world.

  • Ages 4-18
  • Ideas to Reduce Waste (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  • Deadline: May 1, 2017

Mini-Contests – up to $500 – Acts of Kindness

  • Create a video, poem, story, drawing, photograph, or anything else that captures one of your acts of kindness.
  • Upload your entry (or entries) to tell the world about your kindness. Then ask friends, family, and everyone else you know to vote for your entry. The entry and voting deadline for the current public voting contest is December 31, 2016.
  • WIN! The 10 entries with the most votes will win cash prizes up to $500!

Public Voting Contests

Project Paradigm will host different public voting contests to help raise awareness about waste and to promote The Paradigm Challenge. Youth will create and submit a contest entry and ask friends and family to vote.  The 10 entries with the most votes will receive cash prizes up to $500.


  • Three Ambassadors (along with a parent or guardian) will win a 4-day/3-night trip to Los Angeles to attend The Paradigm Challenge Prize Ceremony.
  • Ambassadors will compete in three age divisions: Ages 4 to 8Ages 9 to 13Ages 14 to 18.
    The top Ambassador in each age division will win the trip to Los Angeles.
  • The first 100 Ambassadors to earn at least 100 points will receive an official Challenge Ambassador t-shirt. All Ambassadors who collect at least 50 points will receive a Challenge Ambassador Certificate.


Educator Teams can win grants up to $5,000


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Other School Grant Opportunities


(Collected from NWF Eco-Schools Newsletter)|#schoolyardhabitats – Can list on site up to 4 months
Helps classrooms and students in need offers many ways to earn scholarship money.





From our Friends at NH Dept. of Environmental Services:


Discover WILD NH Day Set for April 29

Wild NH pic 1


CONCORD, N.H. — Save the date! The snow might be flying, but spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the NH Fish and Game Department’s popular outdoor festival, Discover WILD New Hampshire Day. This free community event is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Fish and Game Department at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. Admission is free.

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is a fun way for the whole family to explore New Hampshire’s wildlife resources and outdoor traditions. Browse educational exhibits presented by environmental and conservation organizations from throughout the state. See live animals, big fish and trained falcons. Try your hand at archery, casting, fly-tying and B-B gun shooting. Watch retriever dogs in action. Get creative with hands-on craft activities. Plus, check out the latest hunting and fishing gear and gadgets.

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is hosted by the New Hampshire Fish Wild NH pic 2and Game Department and sponsored by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, Fish and Game’s nonprofit partner (

Watch for more details about Discover WILD New Hampshire Day at

Want to learn more? Photos of previous Discover WILD New Hampshire Day events are available at



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From our friends at NH DES

GREENWorks Logo

February 2017


Shake and Fold, and Save 571 Million Paper Towels


This month we share with you a waste-reducing tactic that is genius in its simplicity, and yet the result is anything but simple. Just remember these three words: Shake and Fold.

This method has the potential to revolutionize our public and workplace bathroom habits by showing a practical and effective way to only use one paper towel to dry your hands after washing. If you’re like most people, that sounds quaint and, honestly, not realistic. Most people tug at the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom a good three or four times until they have a big ball of absorption in their hands. It doesn’t matter the dispenser, one of those self-cutting ones or an automatic (you just keep waving those hands until you have as many as you want!), we always grab a handful. And, like most people, you probably feel you could never get both hands dry with one small square of thin paper.

The Shake and Fold method will open your eyes to just how wrong we all are. It will also save a ton of trash; well, actually about 286 tons. According to John Smith of Portland, Oregon – a former district attorney and “powerful advocate for proper paper towel use,” according to his TED Talk profile – 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used every year in America. If everyone used just one paper towel instead of the usual handful, it would save 571,230,000 pounds of paper towels a year. It would also keep up to 16 grams of CO2 out of the atmosphere each time you dry your hands. For a 10-person office, this can add up to 120,000 grams each year, or the equivalent of 265 pounds.

We’ve been delaying long enough, now it’s time to reveal the method. Grab a pen; you’ll want to take notes. (Not really.)

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. SHAKE your hands over the sink 12 times (to get rid of excess water).
  3. Grab one paper towel
  4. FOLD the towel in half and dry your hands.
  5. Marvel in how dry your hands are.

Why fold the towel? Water molecules like to stick together and fill empty spaces when getting absorbed, so the tiny space between the layers helps hold more water.

Some people may read this and say, “Why use paper at all? Wouldn’t a hand dryer be more environmentally friendly?” Well, not everyone has access to a hand dryer and even when you do, it’s not 100% certain the dryers are the greener choice. There have been plenty of studies on the topic – measuring materials, manufacturing, transport, use and waste – and the most common answer is that if you have the newest, most efficient hand dryers on the market, they beat out paper towels. However, if everyone just used one paper towel, the paper product would be about equal on the “green scale.”

Another important consideration is the effectiveness, and according to some studies, paper towels win that contest. Hand drying is just as important as hand washing in the effort to remove bacteria, and the transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from wet skin than from dry skin, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayo also notes: Most studies suggest that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively and cause less contamination of the washroom environment. From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers.

So, take a look at Smith’s TED Talk video and try it yourself. You’ll believe it when you see it.

And as he says at the end of his presentation: “Next, toilet paper.”

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From our Friends at EPA WW/FRC Email Update


 UMaine 10 Steps to School Compost Guide






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EPA’s WasteWise encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce select industrial wastes.  WasteWise is part of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts, which promote the use and reuse of materials more productively over their entire lifecycles.

To learn more, go to WasteWise Fact Sheet.






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EPA FRC Rethink logo

 As part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results. The FRC is part of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM). SMM seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle. This includes how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed.

To learn more, go to:  EPA FRC





How to Make a Plarn (Plastic Yarn) Basket


We found this link through our friends at Pinterest


Going Green with Wrapped Baskets

Plarn Basket

March 8, 2012 By radmegan 20 Comments

I’m feeling like I need things in my personal life to be as tidy as possible so that I won’t get slowed down or distracted.

Which brings me to today’s project. Full disclosure: The photo below is what our laundry room shelf has looked like for almost two years. This week, I went to grab one bag and the entire shelf almost came down on me because there were SO MANY PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS stuffed into a teeny tiny space.


In a fit of rage and craftiness, I pulled the entire bundle down and decided to make SOMETHING USEFUL from the bags that had been cluttering up our hall for so long. In a wild moment of clarity, I flashed back to a small woven pot that I had made during my brief stint as a Girl Scout. I grabbed my cutting mat, a cutting blade, a ruler, some masking tape, a heavy yarn needle and crochet hook. I was going to weave a basket out of all these plastic bags.



Plarn Basket

Click HERE for all the steps and instructions!

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From our friends at


Amazing bottle cap floor!

For all the instructions on how it was done, click HERE!


GREEN CALENDARclipart green calendar

04/22/17 – Earth DayTo plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/28/17 – Arbor Day – To plan your event,  visit

04/29/17 – Discover Wild NH Day – Join staff of NH Fish & Game for a day of activities and family fun. For more information, go to:

05/06/17 – VT Green Up Day – For more information, visit:

05/22/17 – NRRA’s 36th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo Begins – For more information go to our Conference Page.

05/23/17 – School CLUB’s 8th Annual School Recycling Conference (the Conference within the Conference); Registration assistance available for NH schools through NH the Beautiful.

06/05/17 – World Environment Day – To plan your event,  visit

06/08/16 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event,  visit



Let’s Make Earth Day Every Day!

Earth Day cartoon pic




mailboxWHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School Recycling 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, 1-603-736-4401, Ext. 19